Violence Prevention

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University Policy Number 2208

Categorized:

Responsible Office:

Policy Procedure: N/A

Related Law & Policy:


I. Scope

This policy applies to all University employees and students; visitors, contractors, and members of the general public on university property owned or controlled by the university; and anyone participating in a university-related or university-sponsored activity.  This policy provides an overarching framework to identify potential perpetrators of violence and the behaviors that must be reported to university officials so that appropriate prevention, intervention, or support strategies can be implemented.

II. Policy Statement

This policy prohibits behavior that constitute violent or abusive conduct.  Engaging in behavior that creates a risk of physical injury to or poses a risk to the safety of another person is strictly prohibited. Such behavior must be reported.

Some violent behaviors and abusive conduct also constitute crimes under Virginia law, which may result in criminal prosecution and punishment in addition to any sanctions under this policy. The University will take prompt and equitable action to eliminate prohibited conduct.

III. Definitions

Confidential Employee: Any University employee designated by the University as a confidential resource.

Non-confidential Employee: Any employee that is not a Confidential Employee.

IV. Compliance

A. Violence Prevention Committees

 In accordance with the Code of Virginia § 23.1-805, a Violence Prevention Committee (VPC), chartered by the President, is responsible for coordinating violence awareness, prevention, and intervention efforts across the university to include prescribing procedures for reporting violent behavior, conducting institutional assessments of individuals who have demonstrated or are suspected to be capable of violence, establish intervention procedures to prevent violence, stipulate mandatory reporting requirements, and develop resources for the university community on how to identify and respond to violent or potentially violent individuals.

B. Violence Prevention Resources

 The Violence Prevention Committee is responsible for providing reporting mechanisms, resources, and information available to the campus community.  Reporting procedures, policies, resources, and information on the university’s violence prevention strategies are maintained online at https://stopviolence.gmu.edu.

 C. Mandatory Reporting

All Non-confidential Employees that become aware of the following behaviors must report these behaviors to the university, as described below.

Immediately Dangerous or Life-Threatening Behavior: Any actions that constitute an immediate threat to an individual or community must be reported to University Police or Local Law Enforcement immediately.

  • Local Law Enforcement: 911
  • University Police: (703) 993-2810

Acts of Violence: Any of the following conduct committed against an individual or community (that does not pose an immediate danger or threat) must be reported to the university through stopviolence.gmu.edu or by calling University Police (703) 993-2810.

  • Physical assault or unwanted touching;
  • Engaging in behavior that creates a reasonable fear of injury or substantial emotional stress to another person;
  • Possessing, brandishing, or using a weapon that is not required by the individual’s position while on campus or engaged in official business;
  • Intentionally damaging property;
  • Threatening to injure an individual or to damage property;
  • Other abusive conduct in that an objectively reasonable person would find hostile, offensive, and unrelated to the University’s legitimate interests, which causes substantial emotional distress (e.g., bullying); or,
  • Aiding, facilitating, promoting, or encouraging the commission of any act prohibited by this policy (i.e., complicity).

Precursors to Violent Behavior: To assist the university in identifying and preventing potential acts of violence before it occurs, the following behaviors must be reported to the University through stopviolence.gmu.edu or by calling University Police (703) 993-2810.

  • Making direct or indirect threats or attempts to harm others;
  • Identifying with or idolizing persons who have engaged in violence toward others;
  • Engaging in intimidating, stalking, bullying, or harassing behaviors;
  • Contextually displaying paranoia or distrust disproportionate to a situation;
  • Displaying hostile, aggressive, or abusive behavior towards others; or,
  • Displaying significant decreased performance in work/academics, radical fluctuation in mood/disposition, decreased ability to cope with change/hardship, and/or significant changes in hygiene/appearance coupled with one or more behaviors listed above.

D. Responsive Measures

The University will take appropriate action in response to violations of this policy.  Reports of concerning behavior, threats, or acts of violence will be evaluated by the appropriate university department or official and appropriate corrective action, sanctions, or discipline (including termination or expulsion) will be taken. The Threat Assessment Team reviews and manages reports of individuals who demonstrate violent, threatening, disturbing, or erratic behavior that constitute violence against another individual or are precursors to committing acts of violence.

The University’s Threat Assessment Team evaluates concerning behaviors that present a threat to safety and will intervene as necessary.

E. Victims/Survivors Assistance

The university provides and/or coordinates resources to survivors and victims of violent acts; this includes anyone who is a target of violence, bystanders, and observers.  Students are encouraged to contact Student Support and Advocacy Center for assistance.  Student Support and Advocacy provides student support services and makes referrals as necessary. Employees may contact Human Resources and Payroll for guidance on the university’s Employee Assistance Program.  Students and Employees seeking to make a report to of sexual or interpersonal misconduct to the University should submit a report to the Title IX Coordinator at made to https://diversity.gmu.edu/titleix-webform or via email at titleix@gmu.edu.

Any University Employee who is not a Confidential Resource is designated as a Responsible Employee and required to report to the University’s Title IX Coordinator all relevant details (obtained directly or indirectly) about known or suspected indicted of sexual or interpersonal misconduct, including dates, times, locations, and names of the parties and witnesses. Reports may be made to https://diversity.gmu.edu/titleix-webform or via email at titleix@gmu.edu. See University Policy 1202 for definitions of sexual or interpersonal misconduct.

F. Disclosure

The university is committed to communicating known or perceived threats of violence to the university community as quickly as possible, and in accordance with legal and privacy restrictions.  The university will notify the campus community whenever there is an ongoing or imminent threat to the community on campus or surrounding areas. If the university becomes aware of systematic or chronic acts of violence perpetrated by a university employee or student against a member of the university community, the university will disclose information when it becomes available pending legal, privacy, and investigatory restrictions.

V. Dates:

A. Effective Date:

This policy will become effective upon the date of approval by the Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance and the Provost and Executive Vice President.

B. Date of Most Recent Review:

12/9/2019

 VI. Timetable for Review

This policy shall be reviewed and revised no less than every three years or more frequently as necessary.

VII. Signatures

Approved:

__/S_____________________
Senior Vice President

__/S______________________
Provost

Date Approved: August 17, 2011

Revision Approved: September 18, 2007

Revision Approved: August 11, 2011

Revision Approved: February 13, 2018

Revision Approved: December 13, 2019