From a center for the blind, hospitals, restaurants, and even the neighborhood laundromat I went to all ask me the same question on occasion. And I also get the same attitude from victims on practically every media outlet that covers an incident “I didn’t really think it could happen here/to me! It’s so quiet and nothing ever goes wrong around here!”
Whether it is a school, from elementary to university, or a business, from mom and pop to large multi-national corporations, it all adds up the same. The CHH attitude is the most dangerous one anyone can have when they are in school or at work. By saying It Can’t Happen Here, you open yourself up to being surprised, not adequately trained, and unprepared for such an event, which can lead to injury, psychological trauma, or death.
It doesn’t matter if you’re an employee, customer, visitor, student, manager, or school administrator you have to believe in the possibility of a workplace/school violence (WPV/SV) incident. Why do you have to believe? For the exact reasons I gave above for believing in CHH.
Look around you and at the headlines. If you go to Google or another social media site such as YouTube, and look for WPV or SV, with many different search terms (fist fights at work) you’ll see an innumerable list of incidents on a day-to-day basis. You will have to search for many of them with specific terms because they won’t be classified as WPV or SV because they don’t involve firearms, which is another post.
In 2016 I counted more than 335 incidents of WPV/SV throughout the year. In 2015 it was more than 200. You may ask why so many incidents when you never hear about them? The simple truth is you do hear about them, you just don’t realize, or pay attention because of a lack of a firearm; they are WPV or SV because the media doesn’t count it or say it was one of those kinds of incidents.
- Physical assaults – Threats or just throwing something in anger
- Bomb threats – including hoaxes
- Intimidation & bullying
- Fist fights between co-workers, customers, or anyone in the business
- Punching & kicking at staff
- Spitting on anyone done in anger
- Verbal assaults and threats – subtle or overt but
The talking heads in the media, law enforcement, psychologists, and most of the victims will say the same thing. I’m sure that you know of many of the incidents from the past couple of years. But the issue in all of them is consistent. The victims ALL said “I didn’t think it could happen here/to me/us.”
And yet it did. And we will continue to have instances of WPV/SV as long as that attitude persists in our culture of denial, which is persistent in many areas not just about this. I will once again remind you of this one saying; it can happen to anyone, any-where, at any time, for any reason. This meaning is simple to explain.
- Shopping malls – especially during the holiday season of goodwill
- Schools – elementary thru college & even playgrounds
- Offices of all sizes, including small billing offices, rental space, and even large corporate campuses
- Sign companies
- Barber/beauty shops
- Fitness facilities/gyms
- Manufacturing plants – no matter the size or location (Hesston, KS. February 26,2016)
- Warehouses (Tollefson, AZ. January 24, 2017)
- Fast food restaurants –think about throwing food at employees in anger
- Night clubs and bars – not just because they were drunk (Glendale, AZ. January 21, 2017)
- Hospitals and other health care facilities, the most assaulted group
- Community centers (Phoenix, AZ. January 4, 2017)
- Prisons – yes even prisons can be places for WPV (Smyrna, DE. February 1, 2017)
- Landscaping/pool maintenance
- Your home – yes it can follow you and your family home, especially SV but WPV does happen at private residences
The places that it originates from are as numerous as the places where it occurs. Most people think of just co-workers or school bullies and no one else. But it does, so try these on for size;
- Significant others – 48% of all WPV starts as domestic violence
- Customers – for whatever reason they get upset (Palm Springs, CA,. January 11, 2017)
- Supervisors and managers – it may be rare but…
- The proverbial co-worker who has been disciplined, terminated, or just plain upset (Prescott, AZ. December 3, 2016)
- A teenage romance gone bad
- Students who don’t like their teacher and poisons them
- Delivery drivers – just like with customers
Do I really need to continue these lists? I believe you can figure out my purpose with this list and what I’m trying to convey with it. So you need take care and understand that it can happen here, wherever here may be. But realize and understand the phrase I wrote above and fervently believe in;
Anyone, anywhere, at any time, for any reason.
Facebook.com/oneistoomany or Twitter: @robertsollars2
I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear