Aggression, stalking and threats

All forms of aggression, stalking and threats are unacceptable. Not just those that are visible.

We want to address unsafe and unwelcome behaviour that impacts others and puts them at risk.

Aggression is any behaviour that intends to inflict physical or psychological harm to another person. It can be ongoing behaviour that can be overt like property damage, threats and physical acts of violence. Or it can be covert. Subtle behaviours that intimidate, coerce or exert force over another.

Stalking is repeated contact that makes you feel afraid or harassed. Someone may stalk you by following you or calling you often. Stalkers may also use technology to stalk you by sending unwanted emails or social media messages.

You can be stalked by a stranger. However, most stalkers are people you know, even an intimate partner. Stalking may get worse or become violent over time. It is a crime and below are some examples:

  • following you around or spying on you
  • sending you unwanted messages, emails or letters
  • contacting you often (calling, texting, emailing etc.)
  • showing up uninvited at your house, school or work
  • leaving you unwanted gifts
  • damaging your home, car, or other property
  • threatening you, your family, or pets with violence.

Cyberstalking

  • sending unwanted, frightening, or obscene emails, text messages, or instant messages
  • harassing or threatening you on social media
  • tracking your computer and internet use
  • using technology such as GPS or apps to track where you are.

Statistics

  • about one in six women has experienced stalking in her lifetime
  • women are twice as likely to be stalked than men are.

What to do if you’re being stalked

Getting help is important. You can call: 000 if you are in immediate danger or your local police department if you would like to make a report.

Threats, criminal threatening or threatening behaviour is the crime of intentionally or knowingly putting another person in fear of bodily injury.

Threatening behaviour

Threatening behaviour is intentional behaviour that would cause a person of ordinary sensibilities fear of injury or harm. It can include acts of aggression such as:

  • yelling at a colleague
  • pounding on desks
  • slamming doors
  • blocking or cornering
  • sending threatening voicemails, emails, or other written threats.

What can you do if you are receiving threats?

If you’ve experienced threatening behaviour you can contact the police. In an emergency call 000.

Refers to the practice of rituals, challenges, harassment, abuse or humiliation used as a way of initiating a person into a group including a new team or club. Students are not permitted to engage in any such behaviour regardless of the person’s willingness to participate.

The difference between hazing and bullying is subtle, which is why they are often used interchangeably. The same power dynamics are involved and the same intimidation tactics used.

The only real difference between hazing and bullying is that bullying usually involves singling out an individual at any time and bullying them as a means to exclude them. Hazing, on the other hand, involves including people by having them ‘earn’ their way into a group or onto a team.

Bullying is about exclusion. Hazing is about inclusion. It is a behaviour that may occur in person or via remote, digital or cyber means.

Support and resources

Internal support

  • Emergency: In an emergency ring 000 and then security 9479 2222
  • Safer Community: Provides advice, support and referrals on all forms of unacceptable behaviour including sexual assault and sexual harassment
  • Counselling Support: Provides counselling support on a range of issues that may be affecting a person’s wellbeing.
  • Use our Crisis Line for Out of hours Mental Health and Wellbeing Support. Phone: 1300 146 307 or text: 0488 884 100. This service operates 5.00 pm–9.00 am on weekdays and 24 hours during weekends and public holidays.
  • Stalking Fact Sheet [PDF 249KB] - A factsheet produced by our Safer Community team

External Support

  • Lifeline – For anyone experiencing a personal crisis, 24 hours a day 13 11 14.
  • Beyond Blue – 24/7 phone support, chat online service and resources for those needing support.
  • Headspace – free online and phone support and counselling to young people aged 12-25 years old and their families and friends.
  • Switchboard - for LGBTIQA+ specific support and referral.