Threatening behavior is intentional behavior which would cause fear of injury or harm. It can include verbal or written words, actions, or behaviors that are intended to instill fear such as yelling at a person, destruction of property, slamming doors, or blocking and cornering.
If you encounter threatening behavior:
- If you believe that you are in danger, alert someone to the situation and report the behavior immediately using 9-1-1. You can also use EyeWitness to notify USF Tampa Police if you feel that making a phone call may jeopardize your safety.
- If possible, try to physically remove yourself from the situation without further upsetting the person.
- When talking to the person remain calm and try to be as empathetic as possible.
- Use positive language and encouraging words and phrases such as “everything will be ok.”
- Refrain from physical contact and limit eye contact with the person.
- Refrain from any behavior or movement that will further upset the person.
- If the person’s behavior escalates, begin to move towards the closest exit.
Even if the situation ceases, report the incident using 9-1-1 and alert others that may come into contact with this person about their behavior.
If you believe the person may require further assistance, there are programs that can help prevent threatening behavior by dealing with the early onset issues that lead to these behaviors. Some of these programs include:
- Student of Concern Assistance Team (SOCAT) works with students who may be troubled or whose behavior is of concern to others. SOCAT was started as a way to identify and provide support to a student before more significant problems arise.
- Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides counseling services designed to address significant life problems.
For more information, contact your USF campus police department.