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Violence in the Workplace

Important Contacts

In the event of an emergency, the Duke Emergency Web Site will be updated frequently with instructions and information about the incident, as well as campus services and resources available to the Duke community.

Triggers of Workplace Violence

Pay attention to behavior and situational signs that may trigger or motivate workplace violence. All individuals have his/her own normal behavior patterns. Observation of behavior that is at the extremes or outside of the normal expected behavior range may signal a problem. Violence can be triggered by a number of experienced or perceived events in a workplace setting that result from personal interaction with others, disputes with Duke's workplace policies, abusive relationships outside of work, or violent behavior of patients in the health care setting. Some of these workplace events include:

  • Job layoff
  • Terminations
  • Relationship conflicts
  • Domestic disputes
  • Job performance counseling or disciplinary action
  • Job stress, unfair working conditions, or not knowing work expectations
  • Harassment
  • Racial, ethnic, cultural, gender or lifestyle conflicts
  • Poor management styles (inconsistent discipline, reprimands in front of others)
  • Lack of employee counseling resources


Special acknowledgement to the University of Washington's HR web site on Violence Prevention for use of some material.