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C-I-V-I-L: Preventing Workplace Violence

 C-I-V-I-L 301-402-4845 TTY: 301-402-9499 CIVIL is a coordinated NIH resource which strives to attain its vision of: "An NIH Work Environment Free of Acts and Threats of Violence". Call CIVIL if:

  • You need help assessing the potential seriousness of a threatening situation;
  • You are experiencing a threatening situation at work and need intervention from trained staff;
  • You become aware of a workplace situation involving intimidating, harassing, or other unproductive/dangerous behaviors and need consultation; or
  • A situation involving threats or aggressive acts already has occurred and you need assistance managing the aftermath and its effect on staff; or
  • You need help in addressing your own aggressive reactions to a workplace situation.

Who We Are

CIVIL is a team of NIH experts which help to prevent workplace violence through:

  • policy development
  • education
  • assessment of potentially violent incidents and
  • response to violent or potentially violent incidents

CIVIL is not an acronym, but was chosen to represent the goal of "civil behavior in the workplace" and as the number to call from an NIH phone for assistance (301-402-CIVIL, which is 301-402-4845). Its advisory services and assistance are available to all individuals at NIH facilities. Callers may be helped directly or referred to other resources. CIVIL is not intended to be used as a substitute for calling 911 when an individual feels police or emergency help is needed.

What We Do

The CIVIL Advisory Committee is an advisory body which collaborates with the Response Coordinator. The Advisory Committee develops and recommends policies, practices, and educational tools to prevent and respond to workplace violence. The Advisory Committee prepares and distributes statistical information on workplace violence, maintains this web site, and documents and evaluates CIVIL’s effectiveness.

The Response Coordinators (RC) are the first point of contact for employees in the members of NIH community who feel they may be experiencing threatening situations which are not a crisis but if permitted to continue without intervention may develop into a crisis. The Response Coordinator organizes the administrative aspects of responding to such a circumstance.

The Response Coordinators will specifically:

  • Answer initial calls
  • Assess urgency and whether there is a need for a Response Team intervention or assistance. This includes answering questions, giving advice, making referrals as needed, and determining timing for convening a group if necessary
  • Initiate call to Response Team members for initial meeting and notify members of date, time and place
  • Keep Response Team/CIVIL members informed as appropriate
  • Serve as coordinator with police for emergency calls made to 911
  • Assure the Response Team makes appropriate post-incident response
  • Follow up with IC to ensure necessary steps, action and closure
  • Oversee and direct the development and management of the CIVIL Intranet site
  • Serve as primary professional support to the Chair of CIVIL
  • Serve as the initial contact point with external organizations interested in NIH’s response to and prevention of violence

The Response Team which may be called upon will consist of members of core organizations and auxiliary such as the NIH Police Department, the Center for Cooperative Resolution, the Employee Assistance of the involved IC. Auxiliary members may be called to represent other areas such as the Office of Equal Opportunity, Office of the NIH Legal Advisor, Center for Information Technology, Office of Research Services (ORS), ORS Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution, and Division of Engineering Services. In addition, external (non-NIH) individuals may be requested for certain cases, such as investigators, forensic psychologists, and assessment experts.

Contact Information

To request the services of CIVIL call: 301-402-4845.

To ask questions or share concerns regarding CIVIL or any topic relating to workplace violence contact:

Educating the NIH community, including NIH managers, Scientific Directors, IC Directors, Executive Officers, and the Human Resource community about CIVIL, is a program priority. If you would like CIVIL to provide more information to you, your office or team, about its purpose, method of functioning, response capabilities, services and how to access those services, please contact Jessica Hawkins to arrange a presentation tailored to meet the needs of your group.

This page was last reviewed on February 12, 2013