About Safer Community

Campus safety is everyone’s business.
See something? Say something. Do something!

What is problem behaviour?

  • Any behaviour which makes you feel threatened or unsafe
  • Behaviour which causes you concern about a person harming themselves or someone else
  • Behaviour which offends you
  • Or perhaps something which just doesn’t feel quite right

Why and when to report problem behaviour

All members of the Deakin community are encouraged to report problem behaviours, even if they seem minor. Even if no further action is needed, observing or monitoring behaviour can help us to:

  • Identify and recognise triggers for problem behaviour
  • Understand any patterns of behaviour, or repeated instances
  • Identify any escalations in behaviour
  • Monitor changes in a person’s well-being and ability to cope
  • Track effectiveness of any interventions which may have been implemented
  • Identify appropriate referrals which need to be made

Contacting us about your concerns provides us with the opportunity to address problem behaviour at its earliest point. Even if you’re unsure, or think 'Maybe I’m overreacting. It’s not such a big deal', it’s worth giving us a call. We’ll listen and provide advice.

What assistance can Safer Community provide

Depending on the case, Safer Community can provide:

  • internal/external referrals to appropriate services
  • mental health and forensic risk assessments
  • feedback
  • consultation
  • case management plans
  • recommendations for misconduct sanctions
  • coordinate multidisciplinary involvement to support student and staff safety
  • staff training in mental health first aid and strategies in dealing with problem behaviours.
  • Safer Community emphasises a restorative, voluntary and non-punitive approach where possible.

Disruptive student protocol

Example behaviours that cause disruption

  • Verbal aggression (yelling, swearing, issuing demands, threatening to harm self and/or others)
  • Physical aggression (pushing, hitting, kicking, slapping)
  • Having weapons on campus Illicit drug use/possession on campus
  • Sexual misconduct (any sexual act performed without the consent of all parties, including misuse of University IT resources such as viewing pornography)
  • Property damage
  • Harassing/bullying behaviours (repeatedly contacting or communicating, unreasonable complaining)
  • Disrespectful/hate statement (sexist, racist, homophobic)

Level of disruption and concern

Significant disruption

  • Weapons (brought on campus)
  • Attempts/threatens to cause harm to self or others
  • Sexual harm
  • Violence and assault
  • Injury and trauma
  • Property damage
  • Victim appears to be in immediate danger (being followed, stalked)


  • Safety First: Remove yourself and others from physical danger
  • Call Security immediately on Ext 222 or 1800 062 579 or press emergency duress button

Moderate Disruption

  • Reports harassment
  • Statements suggestive of homicidal thinking that is not overtly indicative of imminent danger
  • Vague statement or communication referencing violence to self/others
  • Disclosure of family/partner violence Last resort statement ("you're my only hope", "I don't know what else to do…"
  • Physical aggression/intimidation (door slamming)
  • Threats of reputational damage
  • Identity theft/fraud


  • Contact Safer Community on safercommunity@deakin.edu.au or 9244 3734 to discuss your concerns and appropriate recommendations or referrals will be provided.

Limited/Low disruption

  • Rude and clumsy interactions
  • Inattentive, disrupting classroom teaching
  • Argumentative with no threats
  • Discrimination/disrespectful/hateful without threats
  • Unreasonable complaints/resource intensive


As much as you're comfortable and student willing to engage, state which behaviour is unacceptable and needs to stop, utilise classroom management strategies and provide support with appropriate student services referral (maintain professional boundaries).

Email Safer Community to flag concerns and to discuss an appropriate management plan, or if you're unsure what services to refer the student to.

Note: if at any point you believe the situation or risk has escalated to requiring immediate response, please contact Security on ext: 222 or 1800 062 579. Follow usual processes in informing line manager of incident.

If you require staff debrief, case consultations, clarifications on policies and procedures, recommendations for how best to manage future incidents, or more information about managing disruptive students, please contact Safer Community via email: safercommunity@deakin.edu.au or see further information about Safer Community at: deakin.edu.au/safer‐community

Support for staff after working with a distressed student can accessed via the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

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