Average Profile of a Perpetrator of WPV

by todaystrainingblog

Average Profile of a Perpetrator of WPV

                Starting with this blog, I will be running some blogs that some of you may have already read before. I am posting them on behalf of my new book ‘One is too Many: Recognizing & Preventing Workplace Violence’. It will be available for anyone to purchase at your favorite on-line bookstore within a few weeks. I have taken the time to re-write these a bit, adding more information or deleting some as the case may be.


Average Profile of a Perpetrator of WPV

                While these signs below are the most frequent profiles of people who will perpetrate workplace violence (WPV), it is by no means the exclusive and definitive list. Therefore, we must be constantly aware and be willing to ‘see something say something’;



                The age of a perpetrator will usually be between 25 and 45 years of age. But in recent years we’ve seen people as young as 19 and as old as 70 that will commit an incident.


Race & Gender:

                The overwhelming majority of incidents are committed by white males. Again, this is the majority. There are numerous incidents where I can point you to a female and a black, Asian, Hispanic, or Arabic descendant who perpetrated the crime.



                The majority of people, media and law enforcement alike, believe that most WPV incidents occur with firearms. They do not! Only the incidents that get the headlines are committed with firearms – or are used for other purposes i.e. political means. More incidents are committed with fists, words, & other implements than are with firearms, including hammers, screwdrivers, & even pencils.


Family/work Stress:

                Serious stress in someone’s family is also in the profile. Stress, as I’m sure you know, can come from many different sources. From a child’s illness, financial, divorce, and so many other items. If you look at most incidents there is stress of some kind that is among the reasoning’s for them to commit the crime. Then look at the stress placed on individuals in their jobs – wondering if they’ll have a job and etc.)


Mental Illness:

                Everyone who perpetrates an incident of WPV has been perceived to have a mental illness. In most instances, they do. But not in all cases. Please remember that depression, or another health concern can be destructive to someone’s mental health and put them into ‘a dark abyss’ of mental illness.


Perception of disparate treatment:

                I haven’t read any incident of WPV that hasn’t included this aspect of the profile. Everyone that I have heard about has perceived that they received disparate treatment from co-workers, supervisors, managers, vendors, and etc.



                Ah, the proverbial ‘lone wolf’. The people who commit these crimes, whether it be at a business, the parking lot, the sidewalk, or in someone’s home will normally be a loner. From sitting by themselves at lunch or on breaks or just never socializing with others at work or when out.

                They may sit by themselves and appear to be happy or satisfied but they aren’t. In some cases they are just painfully, for them, shy. In either event, they shun other people for a number of reasons.


Other signs:

                There are numerous other signs that can profile the potential perpetrator of this crime. In these cases, if you look at the warning signs, then you’ll see many other facets of someone who may become violent in the workplace. Here is a partial listing of some of the 21 signs/profiles;

  • drug and alcohol abuse
  • addiction to violent music, video games, & movies
  • attendance issues.
  • Recent unusual or changed behavior

                As with the warning signs, we all have to be able to ‘connect the dots’ and not be afraid to tell or talk to someone about the co-worker. Be they a friend or not, someone has to say something.


            Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace/school violence prevention and other security issues. With numerous interviews, blogs, articles, and 2 books he has proven himself in the security arena for more than 31 years, and 22 studying workplace/school violence issues.

            He utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his own experiences and the news headlines. Contact him through his Facebook page at One is too Many. Here you will see and read about other items related to WPV/SV as well as incidents you may not have heard or thought about.