Recognizing and preventing Violence on campus

A shooting on campus is a tragic scenario-one that we have a hard time understanding, much less accepting. It is, however, a reality in our world today. When we refer to a Flash Point, we are defining a time and place where anger or hostility flares into violence. It's a moment when an individual loses their ability to manage their emotions and acts out in ways that are harmful to themselves or others. Oftentimes, after a violent incident occurs, authorities are able to retrace an offender's past and identify clues that, in retrospect, could have indicated signs of impending danger.

The Western Washington University Police Department offers a training video focused on preventing violence on campus. Training provided in Flash Point on Campus is designed to help prevent extreme violence from occurring in the first place. Working from a mindset of awareness, students and faculty learn how to recognize Behaviors of Concern that can lead to violence. One of the biggest myths of campus violence is that events happen "out of the blue" or that someone "just snapped." FBI studies have proven just the opposite--that violence is evolutionary; it builds over time. In recent FBI threat assessments, educating and sensitizing students about "leakage" and its significance in dealing with the threat of violence was emphasized. Students are often in the best position to see and hear signs or cues of potential violence.

Flash Point on Campus includes training on the following topics:

* Spectrum of Violence
* Common Myths Surrounding the Issue of Campus Violence
* Warning Signs of Potential Violence
* Stalking and Intimate Partner Violence
* Responding to Behaviors of Concern
* Roadblocks to Reporting Behaviors of Concern

Flash Point on Campus is published and copyrighted by the Center for Personal Protection and Safety and is presented here with permission.Access is allowed only from computers in the WWU Domain.


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Page Updated 06.19.2013