Did you know there’s often an observable pathway to violence?

Want to know the behavioral indicators to look for?

It’s rare that people just snap. People experiencing extreme stress and emotions will often show signs of aggression before turning violent. This is called the “pathway to violence,” and it’s on this pathway that people exhibit behaviors and traits that are inconsistent with their normal behavior.

Here are some behaviors that may be indicators of impending violence:

A man and woman in a restaurant kitchen fighting | active shooter preparedness

Extreme emotions ‒ These emotions can manifest themselves as depressive and withdrawn behavior, intense anger or hostility, or disconnected and robotic behaviors. Bullying, harassment, and confrontational behavior can also increase.

Making threats ‒ Threats themselves signify workplace violence, and when their frequency increases over time, violence may follow. Threats like, “something bad may happen to you,” or “watch your back,” must be taken seriously.

Changes to typical behavior ‒ Extroverts may become more introverted, seeming more withdrawn and remote. Introverts may become extroverted, seeming overly boisterous or even aggressive.

Increased use of alcohol and drugs ‒ Potentially violent individuals are already having trouble handling their emotions and stress. The use of alcohol and drugs can make this worse.

Pay attention to your coworkers and observe behavioral anomalies. If anything about their behavior seems unusual, or similar to any of the indicators above, they may need assistance. Ask what your company’s HR policies and guidelines are for situations like these. Report concerns to your supervisor, HR department, or security. Do not accuse the offender to their face. This may agitate them.

Prevent Violence: Active Shooter Preparedness

Steps can be taken to diminish and mitigate active shooter events. In the Virginia Beach shooting, there were warning signs leading to the assailant’s attack. Along with other red flags, the assailant was posting negative sentiments about the company online. If this and other threatening behavior was reported, the event might have been prevented.

TPOP’s active shooter preparedness training can teach you and your employees more behavioral indicators and verbal de-escalation techniques to prevent workplace violence. You will also learn situational awareness, the Run Hide Fight methodology, and how to respond to injuries.

Contact TPOP today to increase the security of your workplace.