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What should I do?

If you are aware that a person has radicalised to the point of promoting or threatening violence, you have a responsibility to report it. You can find out how at seek help and report.

If you think that someone might be at risk of radicalising to violent extremism, you can support them by maintaining open communication and seeking help. The people most likely to get through to an individual who may be radicalising to violence will be people they trust. Even if you disagree with what they are saying, it's important to let them know you are there to support them.

Those who are radicalising often become increasingly difficult to communicate with. They may refuse well-intentioned attempts to help.

Encourage respect and tolerance

Searching for meaning and belief is normal. However, incomplete knowledge can make people vulnerable to negative ideas and the acceptance of violence. Proper guidance is important. If an individual is embracing aggressive and hostile attitudes based on ideology, an ideological response could help.

  • Get them involved in constructive community or political activities that enable positive action
  • Involve respected leaders to help provide guidance and give solid grounding in their religious, political or ideological tradition
  • Provide guidance on how to challenge ideas, texts and leaders respectfully without resorting to violent attitudes
  • Help them to accept difference; and
  • Provide opportunities for them to participate positively in intellectual, political or philosophical discussions with a wide range of people.

Promote positive social engagement

If someone has withdrawn from close friends and family and is spending significant amounts of time with a group that is hostile towards others, maintain positive, open communication.

  • Connect them with positive role models such as respected family members, coaches or teachers
  • Involve local social workers or community or police multicultural liaison officers
  • Assist in enrolling them in education, sport, training or employment
  • Try to get them involved in positive social or political activities; and
  • Help them comply with any existing court appointments or orders.

Many former-extremists say that having a trusted adult to talk to would have made the biggest difference in preventing their involvement. If you’re not sure what to do, ask for help. Speak to a trusted community member or contact one of the free, confidential services listed at Seek Help and Report​. You can also report your concerns to the 24-hour National Security Hotline on 1800 123 400.

If someone indicates they may harm themselves or other people, call Emergency Services on 000 immediately.​