Violence Prevention and Response Policy

Violence Prevention and Response Policy

Abstract:
The purpose of this policy is to help to identify and prevent incidents of violence and reduce the effects of violence on victims, and set forth consequences for committing or threatening to commit a violent act.
Effective Date:
7/1/2020
Contacts:
None Assigned
Administrative Category:
Applies To:
Faculty, Staff, Students
Material Original Source:

University of Alabama at Birmingham

Violence Prevention and Response Policy

July 1, 2020

(Replaces policy dated November 22, 2016)


Related Policies
Title IX Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Violence Policy
Freedom of Expression and Use of UAB Facilities Policy


Related Resources

 

BACKGROUND 

The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is committed to maintaining a safe and secure educational environment and workplace, one which seeks to ensure the well-being and safety of faculty and staff, employees, students and visitors. UAB does not tolerate acts of violence or threats of violence against faculty, staff, students, or visitors, and others conducting UAB official business.

The purpose of this policy is to help to identify and prevent incidents of violence, reduce the effects of violence on victims, and set forth consequences for committing or threatening to commit a violent act.   

POLICY STATEMENT

Violence and threatened violence are prohibited by UAB. Each member of the UAB community has the responsibility to understand, prevent and respond appropriately to campus/workplace violence. It is a violation of this policy to engage in violent behavior. UAB reserves the right to determine when particular conduct constitutes an act of violence for purposes of this policy. This conduct may also be a violation of state and federal law, UAB’s Title IX Policy, UAB’s Equal Opportunity and Discriminatory Harassment Policy, or other applicable policies. Under these circumstances, the University will endeavor to coordinate the investigation of any violation of this policy with other investigations as appropriate and feasible.

SCOPE

This policy applies to the personal conduct of employees while acting within the scope of their employment on University owned, controlled, or leased property, while conducting university business at any location, including while representing the University at conferences or offsite meetings, or while riding in University-owned or leased vehicles. It also applies to any off-duty violent act or threat of violence that adversely impacts a University employee’s ability to perform his or her assigned job duties or responsibilities or brings discredit to UAB.

This policy also applies to students.  The personal conduct of students is covered in more depth in the Student Conduct Code

This policy also applies to UAB volunteers, adjunct/clinical appointees, and others conducting UAB official business.

UAB further provides protection of all community members in instances of sexual violence and sexual misconduct as outlined in the University-wide Title IX Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence Policy (“Title IX Policy”).

 

DEFINITIONS 

For purposes of this policy, violent behavior encompasses a broad range of behavior that may affect the campus or the workplace, may generate reasonable concerns for personal safety, or may result in physical injury. Violent behavior, includes but is not limited to, aggressive or frightening acts, intimidation, threats, harassing behavior, stalking/unwanted attacks, physical attacks, domestic violence or property damage. Violent behavior does not include appropriate self-defense measures a reasonable person would take to prevent personal physical injury or harm. Examples of behaviors or conduct that are not tolerated include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Threats: an expression of intent to cause physical or emotional harm to another person or damage the property of another. A threat may be direct, indirect, conditional or veiled and without regard to whether the party communicating the threat has the ability to carry it out in the present or future;
  • Intentionally defacing or damaging property, including property owned by UAB or its employees, students, visitors, or vendors;
  • Brandishing a weapon or firearm;
  • Physical attack, meaning unwanted physical contact such as hitting, kicking, pushing, shoving, biting, fighting or throwing objects or using an unauthorized weapon against another person;
  • Any act of domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking (See UAB Title IX Policy);
  • Attempting or committing nonconsensual sexual contact (any touching of the sexual or intimate parts of a person) or exposure, including sexual assault (See UAB Title IX Policy); 
  • Intimidation, or implied threats or acts that cause an unreasonable fear of harm in another;
  • Hazing, or acts likely to cause physical or psychological harm or social ostracism to any person within the university community, when related to the admission, initiation, pledging, joining, or progression in any group activity;
  • Bullying, or repeated and/or severe aggressive behavior likely to intimidate or intentionally hurt, control or diminish another person, physically or mentally;
  • Aiding or abetting others in any of the above actions (examples include, but are not limited to, concealing any of the above behaviors to protect the perpetrator, allowing them to use phones or e-mails to bypass security plans, or delivering messages to the victim); or
  • Enlisting, coercing, or asking others to do any of the above acts.
Additionally, behaviors of concern can be precursors to greater levels of violence. It is imperative that UAB learn about early behaviors of concern so that plans can be put in place to prevent greater violence from occurring in the UAB community. The following behaviors of concern could indicate the potential for an individual to engage in violent behavior or could be indicators for suicide risk:
  • Use of violence, threats to harm and harassment toward others;
  • 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;
  • Engaging in intimidating, belligerent, insubordinate, defiant, or challenging behavior;
  • Being confrontational, angry, or behaving in an unpredictable, restless, or agitated manner;
  • 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;
  • Crossing behavioral boundaries at work (e.g., excessive phone calls, personal emails, and/or visits);
  • Engaging in substance abuse;
  • Perceiving disgrace or loss of options due to failure; or
  • Any behavior or collection of behaviors that instill fear or create concerns that an individual might act out violently.
Also, although they are considered violent behavior, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, sexual violence, and stalking are defined and discussed within the UAB Title IX Policy.

Freedom of Expression

As stated in its Freedom of Expression and Use of UAB Facilities Policy, the University is committed to free and open inquiry and expression for members of its community. The University is dedicated to the promotion of lively and fearless freedom of debate and deliberation but also to the protection of that freedom when others attempt to restrict it. While the protections of the First Amendment and applicable state law may need to be considered if issues of speech or expression are involved, for purposes of this policy, free speech does not include:
  • Unlawful harassment, defined as expression that is so severe, and/or pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies access to an educational opportunity or benefit or creates a hostile working environment;
  • True threats, which are defined as statements meant by the speaker to communicate a serious expression of intent to commit an act of unlawful violence to a particular individual or group of individuals; or
  • Fighting words, which are defined as speech that is personally or individually abusive and is likely to incite imminent physical retaliation

Reporting Acts of Violence or Behaviors of Concern

All members of the UAB community have a duty to report all acts of violence, threats of violence, or indications of possible hostile behavior to the UAB Police or appropriate law enforcement agency.  UAB Police coordinates required notifications to Office of HR Employee Relations for matters involving employees or the Office of Non-Academic Student Conduct and/or the Title IX Coordinator for matters involving students.  Employees who have been approached by a student relaying a potential incidence of violence must relay the report to the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs.  An individual who has been issued a protective or restraining order that references or impacts the UAB environment must notify UAB officials and may be required to present appropriate documentation.

All members of the UAB community are encouraged to be alert to the possibility of violence on the part of employees, former employees, students, or other individuals who may be encountered on campus or while conducting official University business. Behaviors of concern can be reported to a manager or supervisor, Office of Provost, Human Resources, the Title IX Coordinator, or the Behavioral Threat Assessment Team.

UAB is committed to ensuring safe options for bystander intervention that may be carried out by an individual to prevent harm or intervene when there is a risk of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking against a person other than themselves.

Department heads, directors, and supervisors are responsible for communicating this policy to all employees under their supervision, for ensuring that facilities are as safe as feasible; for identifying and offering violence prevention training to employees, as appropriate; and for instructing employees what and how to report violence or threatened violence. 

For matters involving employees, Human Resources will coordinate employee-related preventive measures, including conducting criminal conviction checks, in accordance with university policy, providing awareness programs to new employees, coordinating referrals to the employee assistance program, advising employees and managers, and coordinating with other university and community resources to support victims of violence. 

For matters involving students, the Title IX Coordinator will coordinate student-related supportive measures, including but not limited to issuing a no-contact order, modifying or changing in class schedules, job assignments or on-campus housing arrangements; providing academic support services, escort services; increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus or similar measures; referral to counseling services both off campus; resources on and off campus for trained advocates who can provide crisis response; assistance in identifying advocacy support to obtain orders of protection within the criminal justice system; and emergency numbers for on and off campus law enforcement. More information about supportive measures can be found in UAB’s Title IX Policy.

Response to Acts of Violence
 
UAB is committed to providing an investigative process that is sensitive, fair, supportive, and respectful of the rights and needs of all involved. In cases of reported violence, UAB shall provide a prompt, fair, and impartial investigation and resolution. All investigations and/or disciplinary proceedings will be conducted by University officials who are adequately trained on the issues related to these situations. A preponderance of the evidence standard will be used to resolve all such complaints.
 
With reports of sexual assault and sexual misconduct, including stalking, domestic violence and dating violence, the complainant and the respondent are both entitled to the same opportunities, pursuant to the UAB Title IX Policy and related procedures and Student Conduct Code.
 
 
NON-RETALIATION
 
Retaliation against any employee, student or other member of the campus community who, in good faith, reports a violation of this policy is prohibited.
 
 
NON-COMPLIANCE
 

Confirmed violations of this policy will result in appropriate consequences commensurate with the offense, up to and including expulsion from the University or termination of employment, appointment, or other relationships with UAB. Interim actions, including emergency removal of a student and/or administrative leave for employees, may be taken by UAB prior to final resolution. Any emergency removal of a student based on allegations of stalking, domestic violence and dating violence will be made pursuant to UAB’s Title IX Policy and related procedures. Individuals may also be subject to arrest, criminal prosecution, and/or may be temporarily or permanently barred from campus.

 
CONFIDENTIALITY
 

Effort is made to protect the safety of anyone who reports a potential violation of this policy or otherwise raises concerns about a threat or act of campus violence or behavior of concern. As appropriate and feasible under applicable law and UAB policies, UAB will protect the confidentiality of anyone who makes a report under this policy.

SUPPORT FOR VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE

UAB is concerned with the health and well-being of its employees.  In situations of violence or the potential for violence in the workplace, assistance is available to employees.  Assistance may be requested through a faculty member, counselor, supervisor, Title IX Coordinator, UAB Police, Human Resources, or the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Additional resources are available for victims of sexual violence, including sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, whether or not the sexual offense is reported, to ensure the victim’s well-being (See UAB Title IX Policy).
  

IMPLEMENTATION

The Offices of the Vice President for Financial Affairs and Administration, Provost, and Vice President of Student Affairs are responsible for implementation of this policy.