Aggression, Stalking and Threats

We believe that all forms of aggression, stalking and threats are unacceptable – not just those that can be seen. We want to address unsafe and unwelcome behaviour that impacts others and puts them at risk.

  • Aggression
  • Stalking
  • Threats
  • Hazing

Aggression

Aggression is any behaviour that intends to inflict physical or psychological harm on another person. Aggression is a continuum of behaviours that can be overt, including property damage, threats and physical acts of violence, or covert, including subtle behaviours that intimidate, coerce or exert force over another.

Stalking

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, but most stalkers are people you know – even an intimate partner. Stalking may get worse or become violent over time.  Stalking is a crime.

Examples of stalking

  • 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

Stats

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.

Victims of Crime also have a helpline (1800 819 817) if you would like further information and support.

Our Stalking Fact Sheet [PDF 249KB] has more information, including assistance and support options

Threats

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, and 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.

Hazing

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.

Hazing behaviours may occur in person or via remote, digital or cyber means.

Help for myself

If you have experienced stalking or threats, it is not your fault and you’re not alone. We’d like to help, if that works for you.

Are you in immediate danger? If you are in immediate danger or seriously injured, please call 000 (or 0 000 from University phones).

Find a place where you feel safe. If an incident has just occurred and a safe place cannot be located, consider contacting Campus Security (03 9479 2222) for assistance.

If you're concerned about your online and tech safety, please visit eSafety Women for safeguarding suggestions.

Consider contacting Safer Community We will listen, believe, and support you in making decisions which are right for you. Contacting us does not mean you have to file a formal complaint or engage in a process – it can be strictly around support. You can remain anonymous, unless we believe there is a genuine threat to a person’s health and safety. Call us on 03 9479 8988 or click Report Online below.

If you’re not ready to contact a support service, confiding in someone you trust – a friend, family member, co-worker or counsellor – may help.

Help for someone else

If you’re worried about someone else, there are things you can do to help.

Are they in immediate danger? If they are in immediate danger or seriously injured, please call 000 (or 0 000 from University phones).

Find a place where they feel safe. If an incident has just occurred and a safe place cannot be located, suggest contacting Campus Security (03 9479 2222) for assistance.

Listen. Believe. Support. If someone discloses to you that they have experienced stalking or unacceptable behaviour, it’s important to:

Reassure them that what has happened is not their fault;

Encourage them to talk, without putting words in their mouth. Let them express how they are feeling. (Be prepared – there may be long bouts of silence as they process their thoughts.);

Focus any questions on how they are feeling, and what they want to do next. It’s not up to you to gather information or pass judgment about the specifics of the incident(s);

Ask how you can help. The person may be overwhelmed and not know what to say - you could consider suggesting they contact someone they trust, or Police if they feel comfortable doing so.

Respect the person’s decisions. Stalking is incredibly complex and scary and is often misunderstood. Only they can decide what is right for them. There are a lot of reasons why someone may feel unable to report their experience, and this should be respected.

If they're concerned about online or tech safety, please visit eSafety Women for safeguarding suggestions.

Consider contacting Safer Community. We can help you provide reasonable support through recommending options and resources. You will not need to disclose the name of the person impacted to us unless we believe there is a genuine threat to their health and safety. Call us on 03 9479 8988, or click Report Online below.

If you’re not ready to contact a support service, confiding in someone you trust – a friend, family member, co-worker or counsellor – may help.

Be an active bystander. Not sure how? Our Bystander Action Fact Sheet [PDF 288KB] has tips, supports and referrals to help

If you're a staff member who is concerned about a student, review our resources for responding to and referring concerns on the Safer Community Intranet [Staff login required]

Safe Connections

La Trobe University Safer Community has a local partnership with Safe Connections, a program by WESNET and Telstra, where we can provide female identifying survivors of family violence, sexual assault and technology facilitated abuse with free pre-paid smart phones, including $30 credit, as a way of helping link them in with life changing supports. Female identifying staff and students who have experienced technology facilitated abuse can be referred to Safer Community for a Safe Connection phone and credit, and advice on appropriate internal and external support services.

Contact Safer Community for a Safe Connection:

P: 9479 8988
E: safercommunity@latrobe.edu.au
W: www.latrobe.edu.au/safercommunity
Office: PE, Level 2, Bundoora Campus

Report Online

For emergency assistance, please call

Emergency Services on 000
or Campus Security on 03 9479 2222