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Guidelines for dealing with issues of violence and personal safety

Students may face issues of violence or harassment in their field settings. Some agencies have clear protocols for dealing with violence, while others do not. It is important for students and field teachers to discuss strategies for dealing with issues of personal safety.

The following are suggested topics to discuss:

  • The kind of behaviors that may pose a threat to the personal safety of students from the people they will work with.
  • How to be aware of signs of potential danger and how to interpret them in the particular setting.
  • Sexual harassment.
  • Violence resulting from lack of medication.
  • Violence resulting from withholding certain services like the giving out of money.
  • Known history of violence.
  • How to assess behavior that can escalate, identifying when a situation is getting out of control, knowing how to diffuse a potentially explosive situation, and intervening in such a way as to work positively with a very distressed person.

It is recommended that:

  • Students be aware of any procedures or protocols that the agency has in place for dealing with issues of violence or personal harassment. For example, when/who calls the police or emergency services.
  • Students discuss any concerns related to personal safety with their field instructor immediately.
  • Students report any incidents of verbal or physical abuse to their field instructors.
  • Students never be left alone in a potentially dangerous situation.

Regulations concerning complaints of sexual harassment

The Sexual Harassment policy has now been updated to reflect the McGill-wide policy. Please see this website: Assessors/Harassment, Sexual Harassment and Discrimination