Behaviors of Concern

Violent behavior is often preceded by signs that indicate a person is not coping well.  The following behaviors of concern could indicate the potential for an individual to engage in violent behavior or self-harm. They may be behaviors that you observe or that are reported to you by coworkers, students, faculty or TAs, etc.

  • Reacting angrily or emotionally in a way that seems disproportionate to the situation.
  • Making direct or veiled threats about harming or killing one's self or others.
  • Making unusual references to or being preoccupied with violent incidents that have made the news.
  • Engaging in intimidating, belligerent, insubordinate, defiant, or challenging behavior.
  • Being confrontational, angry, or behaving in an unpredictable, restless, or agitated manner.
  • Having a history of violent, reckless, or antisocial behavior.
  • Displaying an unusual or obsessive fondness or fascination with firearms.
  • Blaming others for anything that goes wrong, with no sense of personal responsibility.
  • Displaying a recent, marked job or academic performance decline and/or attendance problem.
  • Displaying marked changes in personality, mood, or behavior.
  • Withdrawing from friends and acquaintances.
  • Crying excessively for what appears to be little or no reason.
  • Exhibiting a decline in personal grooming.
  • Crossing behavioral boundaries at work (e.g., excessive phone calls, personal e-mails, and/or visits).
  • Engaging in substance abuse.
  • Perceiving disgrace or loss of options due to failure, including failing in school.
  • Experiencing serious stress in one's personal life (e.g., financial, family, or marital problems).

Prohibited Behaviors

Prohibited Behaviors are behaviors the University does not tolerate—whether direct or through the use of University facilities, properties, or resources. Prohibited behaviors:

  • Are violent
  • Threaten violence
  • Harass or intimidate others
  • Interfere with an individual’s legal rights of movement or expression
  • Disrupt the workplace, our academic environment, or the University’s ability to provide service to the public

Violent or threatening behavior can include physical acts, oral or written statements, harassing email messages, harassing telephone calls, gestures, and expressions or behaviors such as stalking.


If you or others may be in danger


206-685-SAFE (7233)
For advice and resources


206-685-WALK (9255)
UW safety guards
to walk with you