HRM-028: Preventing and Addressing Threats or Acts of Violence

Date: 07/13/2009 Status: Final
Last Revised: 01/18/2019
Policy Type: University
Oversight Executive: Associate Vice President for Safety & Security
Applies To: Academic Division and the Medical Center.
Reason for Policy:

The University of Virginia and the University of Virginia Medical Center are committed to providing a safe and secure environment for all faculty, staff, students, Medical Center employees, patients, and visitors. This policy addresses the prevention, intervention, assessment, and management of identified threats and acts of violence and facilitates compliance with Virginia Code §23.1-805.

Definition of Terms in Statement:
  • Violence Prevention Committee and Threat Assessment Team (TAT):

    A multi-disciplinary team comprised of various University and Medical Center personnel responsible for developing violence prevention programming and charged with implementing the University’s threat assessment, intervention, and action protocol.

Policy Statement:

The University and Medical Center promote a safe environment in which to learn, live, and work by strictly prohibiting threats or acts of violence. The University and Medical Center have established a violence prevention committee and threat assessment team (TAT) to assess, manage, intervene, and mitigate identified acts or threats of violence by or against faculty, staff, students, Medical Center employees, patients, and visitors or other non-affiliated individuals. Among its functions, the TAT implements safety planning, workplace accommodations, support, and resources for individuals who are experiencing or at risk of experiencing violence; will educate the community about warning signs of behaviors that may precede violence and this policy; and evaluate the effectiveness of violence prevention programming.

In situations where violence appears imminent or occurs, individuals should immediately call 911. Faculty, staff, students, Medical Center employees, patients, and visitors should report any violent or threatening behavior (see Section 1) either to the University Police Department (UPD), the Office of the Dean of Students (ODOS), Office for Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights (EOCR), University Human Resources (UHR), Medical Center Human Resources (MCHR), Patient Safety and Risk Management, the Director of Threat Assessment or through the UVA Just Report It or UVA TipSoft reporting systems.

NOTE: Retaliation against any faculty, staff, student, Medical Center employee, patient, or visitor who in good faith, reports violent or threatening behavior per this policy is prohibited. Retaliatory actions will be referred to the appropriate disciplinary authority within the University and Medical Center.

  1. Violent and/or Threatening Behavior:
    Violent and/or threatening behavior encompasses a range of activities occurring on or off University or Medical Center grounds and generates reasonable concern for personal or community safety. Violent and/or threatening behavior includes but is not limited to the following examples:

    • Brandishing a weapon or firearm.
    • Unsanctioned possession of firearms, weapons, or other dangerous items.
    • Intentionally injuring another person physically.
    • Committing injurious or threatening acts related to sexual assault, stalking, dating or domestic violence, or sexual or gender-based harassment.
    • Threatening to injure an individual or to damage property.
    • Defacing or damaging property.
    • Engaging in verbal or physical behavior that creates a reasonable fear of physical injury.
    • Intentionally engaging in verbal or physical behavior that subjects any individual to extreme emotional distress.
    • Engaging in threatening or violent behavior based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or other protected status.
  2. Violence Prevention Committee and Threat Assessment Team (TAT):
    The multidisciplinary TAT will consist of but is not limited to the following individuals and department representatives:

    Associate Vice President of Safety and Security
    Director of Threat Assessment
    University Police Department
    Office of the Dean of Students
    Office of the Vice President and Chief Student Affairs
    Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
    Office for Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights
    University HR/Employee Relations
    Medical Center HR/Employee Relations
    Faculty and Employee Assistance Program
    Patient Safety/Risk Management
    Faculty Representative
    Office of University Counsel*

    The TAT does not serve as a disciplinary body; however, referrals will be made to the appropriate disciplinary authority regarding violent or threatening behavior per University policy.

  3. Support and Safety Planning:
    The University and Medical Center will make efforts to protect and support those subjected to or threatened by acts of violence by discussing safety planning and identifying appropriate resources. University, Medical Center, and community resources referrals include but are not limited to: law enforcement, health care facilities, counseling services, victim advocacy groups, legal aid, domestic violence shelters, CAPS, University Women’s Center, EOCR, ODOS, and the Faculty and Employee Assistance Program.

    Individuals directly affected by or at risk of ongoing violence may also need accommodations or adjustments to enhance their safety. Accommodations may include but are not limited to: access to counseling services; adjustments to class or work schedules or locations; parking modifications; time off to attend legal proceedings; and/or temporary or permanent student housing changes. The University shall accommodate requests as appropriate per the recommendation and guidance of the TAT.

  4. Responsibilities:
    The Associate Vice President of Safety and Security is responsible for the implementation of this policy for the University and the University Medical Center.

    The Director of Threat Assessment, per the designation of the Associate Vice President of Safety and Security, is responsible for: determining membership on the multidisciplinary threat assessment team; assessing the TAT and its management/intervention process; coordinating annual training for members of the TAT; determining a strategic direction for this policy’s implementation; and overseeing University and Medical Center training regarding this policy and warning behaviors that may precede violence.

    The Violence Prevention Committee and Threat Assessment Team is responsible for (1) reviewing reported violent or threatening behavior (see Section 1), gathering pertinent information, determining intervention and management strategies, implementing protective measures for victims, and documenting actions taken and (2) developing violence prevention programming for the University and Medical Center in conjunction with the Director of Threat Assessment.

    All University faculty, staff, students, Medical Center employees, patients, and visitors are responsible for being alert to the possibility of violence and reporting violent or threatening behavior (see Section 1) to either to University Police, ODOS, EOCR, UHR, MCHR, Patient Safety and Risk Management, the Director of Threat Assessment, or through the UVA Just Report It or UVA TipSoft reporting systems. In situations where violence appears imminent or occurs, individuals should immediately call 911.

    Any University faculty, staff, student, or Medical Center employee who obtains a court order of protection is responsible for alerting the University Police of the existence of such order and providing a copy.

    All University faculty, staff, students, and Medical Center employees are expected to cooperate fully with the TAT including but not limited to: answering questions about violent or threatening behavior, answering questions about persons of concern (e.g., the environment where they live, work, study, or receive care; stressors, health, emotional health, history of violence or threatening statements, and weapon possession), providing employee and student records subject to relevant state and federal laws.

  5. Compliance with Policy:
    Failure to comply with the requirements of University or Medical Center policy (e.g., engaging in violent or threatening behavior that violates the employee, faculty, student, or patient codes of conduct; the Title IX Policy; the Preventing and Addressing Discrimination and Harassment (PADH Policy); or the Preventing and Addressing Retaliation Policy) may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment, services, or expulsion. Any individual who engages in violent or threatening behavior may be removed and/or prosecuted for trespass, disorderly conduct, or other offenses under state or federal law.

    Questions about this policy should be directed to the Director of Threat Assessment.

Procedures:

UVA Just Report It
UVA TipSoft
For additional reporting options, view the Threat Assessment Website.

Related Information:

University Policy:
Disciplinary Suspension and Termination of Academic Faculty
HRM-009, Preventing and Addressing Discrimination and Harassment
HRM-010, Preventing and Addressing Retaliation
HRM-014, Standards of Conduct for University Staff Employees
HRM-040: Reporting by University Employees of Disclosures Relating to Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Other Forms of Interpersonal Violence (the Title IX Policy)
HRM-041, Policy on Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Other Forms of Interpersonal Violence
IRM-018, Issuance of a Timely Warning
PRM-018, Issuance of a Trespass Warning
SEC-030, Regulation of Firearms, Weapons and Destructive Devices
SEC-032, Open Burn and Open Flame Operations at the University of Virginia
STAF-003, Statement of Students’ Rights and Responsibilities

Medical Center Policy:
HSG-006 Patient Rights and Responsibilities
701, Employee Standards of Performance and Conduct
0172, Preventing and Responding to Violence in the Workplace
0174, Regulation of Weapons, Fireworks and Explosives on University Property
0283, Behavioral Code of Conduct
0291, Code of Conduct for Providers who Hold Clinical Privileges

University of Virginia School of Medicine Code of Conduct

State Policy:
1.60, Standards of Conduct
2.35, Civility in the Workplace
Code of Virginia § 23.1-805. Violence prevention committee; threat assessment team
§ 19.2-389. Dissemination of criminal history record information
§ 19.2-389.1. Dissemination of juvenile record information
§ 32.1-127.1:03. Health records privacy
§ 23.1-803 First warning notification and emergency broadcast system required
§ 23.1-804 Institutional crisis and emergency management plan
§ 23.1-806 Reporting of acts of sexual violence
§ 23.1-807 Sexual assault; memoranda of understanding; policies
§ 23.1-808 Sexual violence policy review

Additional Information:
Hoos Making a Safer Community at the University of Virginia
Respect @UVA
UVA Emergency Management Plans

Major Category: Human Resource Management
Category Cross Reference: Safety, Security and Environmental Quality
Next Scheduled Review: 01/18/2022
Approved by, Date: Policy Review Committee, 07/13/2009
Revision History: Updated Contact Ofc 6/20/19; Revised 1/18/19; 7/13/09.
Supersedes (previous policy):
Workplace Violence/Hostility Policy