Threats can be understood as the - implicit or explicit - expression of a desire or intention to harm a particular person or to violate their physical integrity. A threat can be made verbally, in writing, but also symbolically, for example through gestures. Even if threats do not always precede a serious act of violence, it is advisable to take every threat seriously and, if necessary, carry out a risk assessment with the support of professionals. There are many reasons for threats in the workplace, such as:
- Incidents that are perceived as non-collegial
- Perception by the perpetrator that she/he is being set back or treated unfairly by the target (distorted perception or exaggerated sense of justice on the part of the perpetrator)
- Vindictiveness or "possessiveness"