Aggressive/Potentially Violent Behavior
Facts About Aggression
- Behavior falls along the continuum from threats to verbal abuse to physical abuse and violence.
- It is very difficult to predict aggression and violence.
- Possible indicators of potential violence may include:
- Paranoia and mistrust
- An unstable academic or employment history
- A history of juvenile violence or substance abuse
- Prior history of violence or abuse
- Fascination with weapons
- History of cruelty to animals as a child
- Impulse control problem
- Fire-starting behavior
What You Can Do
- Assess your level of safety. If you feel that you or others may be in danger, remove yourself from the situation and call Safety and Security at 401.865.2222.
- If you feel it is appropriate to stay with the student, remain in an open area with a visible means of escape (sit closest to the door).
- Enlist the help of a co-worker or another student.
- Stay calm and set limits; describe to the student behaviors that are unacceptable.
- If the student refuses to cooperate and remains aggressive or agitated, ask the student to reschedule a meeting with you once he/she has calmed down.
- Consult with professionals at Personal Counseling 401.865.2343 or the Dean of Students Office 401.865.1782.
What You Should Avoid Doing
- Remaining in a situation in which you feel unsafe.
- Meeting alone or in a secluded space with the student.
- Engaging in a screaming match or behaving in other ways that escalate anxiety and aggression.
- Ignoring signs that a student’s anger is escalating.
- Touching the student or crowding his or her sense of personal space.
- Ignoring your intuition that tells you that you or others are in danger.