Dangerous extremist views – risk to university experience and culture
To maintain our safe and inclusive Swinburne community, we want to know if someone is expressing or promoting their views in an unacceptable or potentially dangerous manner.
Need emergency assistance?
If you or someone you know is hurt or in immediate danger:
- call the emergency services on 000
- call Swinburne Security on +61 3 9214 3333 for 24-hour assistance including non-life-threatening incidences.
Report it to Safer Community
If you, or someone you know, is being affected by inappropriate, concerning or threatening behaviour, Safer Community wants to know. Report an incident online or email email@example.com.
What is dangerous extremism?
Dangerous extremism is when an individual or group adopts political, social or religious values that are far outside of conventional attitudes. It is characterised by an intolerance of other views, incitement of hatred and division, and rejection of human rights.
It often involves discrimination, harassment and vilification which are unlawful in some instances and go against Swinburne’s policies and procedures. You can read the Discrimination, harassment and vilification factsheet for further information.
Pathway towards dangerous extremism
Individuals and groups can be influenced to support dangerous extremist views. There is no standard pathway, though some common signs include:
Pulling away and increasingly interacting with a secretive and tight-knit network.
Increasingly making discriminatory comments and advocating intolerance towards others.
Using illegal means to promote one’s views.
Recruitment by dangerous extremist groups
Some dangerous extremist groups may present on campus to recruit new members. Online recruitment is also increasing where larger numbers of individuals can be reached via the internet.
As a student, you can be especially vulnerable to being influenced when under stress. It is important to be equally vigilant about the on and offline avenues used to express or promote dangerous extremist views, as they may appear harmless initially.
Implications of becoming part of a dangerous extremist group
Association with a group that adopts concerning extremist views, whether by choice or unknowingly, can have a serious impact on you and those around you. Potential implications include:
Loss of self-worth and independence
Decline in mental health and emotional wellbeing
Deterioration in professional and social relationships
What you can do to help
- Keep an eye on friends or others who you think may be susceptible to influence by alarming extremist views. For example, have they changed their behavioural patterns in their interactions both on and offline?
Talk privately to the person showing signs of being influenced by a dangerous extremist group and ask if they are ok.
Encourage the person to seek help from trusted friends, family and support services.
Encourage the person to research and read up on credible sources of information.
Understand that the person may not be ready to report the concerning extremist group.
Provide the person with information on their reporting options.
- If someone is hurt or in immediate danger, call Swinburne Security or Emergency Services for assistance.
Keep a record of the behaviour you or someone you know has experienced including dates, times, places, names or witnesses.
Keep any evidence: for example copies of messages, photos, or online conversations.
Report on campus promotion of dangerous extremist views to Swinburne Security and Safer Community.
Report online promotion of dangerous extremist views to the website or social media platform, and Safer Community.
If you are fearful for your safety or feel threatened, report the behaviour to police.
Safer Community offers advice, support, intervention, and risk management for students who experience or witness inappropriate, concerning or threatening behaviours on or off campus. You can get in touch with the team by email or via the online reporting form:
Contact campus security services for emergencies on campus or for a security escort.
Call 03 9214 3333
Crisis Line – Out of Hours
The Swinburne crisis line is available to help 24 hours a day on weekends and public holidays, and outside business hours on weekdays (before 9am and after 5pm).
Call 1300 854 144
Text 0488 884 145
If you are struggling with a personal, emotional or mental health difficulty, whether related to your studies or your life away from university, counselling may help. Register and make an appointment with Swinburne’s counselling services.
Call 03 9214 8483
Independent Advocacy Service
Swinburne Student Life provides policy advice, support and guidance in academic issues, and advocates for best outcomes in complaints, grievances, appeals and misconduct hearings.
Call 03 9214 5445
The AccessAbility service advises students who have a disability, medical or mental health condition, or are a primary carer for someone on what reasonable adjustments can be made to ensure equal opportunity to access and participate in their education at Swinburne.
Call 03 9214 5234
Multi Faith Centre
The Multi Faith Centre at the Hawthorn campus provides faith rooms suitable for prayer, meditation and reflection. It can be used for group or individual prayer, or simply serve as a place for quiet thought. This facility is here for people of all faiths or with no faith. We also have Interfaith, Christian, Hindu, Muslim and Jewish chaplains at the centre providing spiritual care for all, irrespective of belief.
National emergency response and reporting. In emergencies call 000. Visit www.police.vic.gov.au for more information.
For 24/7 phone crisis support call 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au for more information.
Australian Human Rights Commission
Australian Human Rights Commission investigates and resolves complaints of discrimination, harassment and bullying based on a person’s sex, disability, race, age and sexuality.
Call 1300 656 419
Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission
A free service for dispute resolution and information around issues of equal opportunity, racial and religious vilification and the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities.
Call 1300 292 153
eheadspace is a confidential, free and secure space to chat to qualified youth mental health professionals.
eSafety offers advice, strategies and support for those experiencing cyberbullying, as well as online reporting.
Call 1800 880 176
Report it to Safer Community
If you or someone you know has witnessed or is being influenced by dangerous extremist views, Safer Community wants to know. Report an incident online or email firstname.lastname@example.org.