The Virginia Tech Massacre as a Starting Point for Threat Assessment Programs in European Universities


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Abstract

The Virginia Tech mass murder shocked not only U.S. academics but also academics across Europe. The event simultaneously opened the door for violence prevention as an important issue for universities across Europe and became a slow-burning catalyst with step-by-step threat assessment programs developed in several European countries. In contrast to the United States, until recently there have been no reports of mass murder cases in Central Europe. Therefore, most threat assessment programs do not focus on the prevention of lethal violence as their main activity. Instead, they primarily address incidents of stalking, threatening communications, and other forms of behavior of concern that are then identified and managed by local threat assessment teams.

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