GWU Police Car

Workplace Violence

Types of workplace violence

  • Physical assault and/or threat.
  • Stalking or continuous harassment that causes fear, worry or intimidation. 
  • Actions aimed at disrupting or sabotaging operations. 
  • Indirect threats, such as "I know where you live."

If you are a victim or witness

  • If the violence is life threatening, call 911 and report your location, weapons involved, injuries and a description of the person making threats.
  • If it is not life threatening, advise your supervisor or Human Resources. 
  • Try to move to a safe area.

If you are confronted by a threatening person

  • Leave the area, if possible.
  • Call 911/4444. 
  • Try to stay a safe distance away. 
  • Try to calm the person. 
  • Try to get the attention of a co-worker who can call for help. 
  • Listen to the person and let him/her do most of the talking. 
  • Use delaying techniques to give the person time to calm down. 
  • Acknowledge the person's feelings.
  • Be respectful and empowering. 
  • Be reassuring and point out choices other than violence.
  • Don't belittle, criticize, agitate or argue with the person. 
  • Don't reject all of the person's demands from the start. 
  • Don't use body language or speech that challenges the person. 
  • Don't make sudden movements. 
  • Don't make false statements or promises.