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A person's family, friends and acquaintances are often the first to notice the early changes in their day-to-day behaviour that might be a sign that they are starting to engage with violent extremism.

The resources on this page have been designed to give you background information, and guidance on what to look for and where to go for help.

Violent Extremism

Extremism is a tendency or disposition to go to extremes, whether they be political, environmental or ideological extremes.

Not all extremist behaviour leads to violence but if a person or group decides that fear, terror and violence are justified to achieve ideological, political or social change, and then acts on this belief, that is violent extremism.

Actions of violent extremists threaten Australia's core values and principles, and the Australian Government emphatically rejects all forms of violent extremism.

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When a person's beliefs move from being relatively conventional to being radical, and they want a drastic change in society, this is known as radicalisation. This is not necessarily a bad thing and does not always mean these people will become violent.

However, it becomes concerning if a person begins to advocate the use of violence to achieve a political, religious or ideological goal.

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Most people move away from violent extremist ideologies by themselves but sometimes they need a helping hand. This fact sheet explains the process of disengagement and how to assist.

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A ‘terrorist act’ is an act, or a threat to commit an act, that is done with the intention to coerce or influence the public or any government by intimidation to advance a political, religious or ideological cause.

This factsheet gives you information about what terrorism looks like, terrorist organisations, and Australia's anti-terror laws.

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Information for health professionals

In the course of their work, health professionals may observe early warning signs that an individual may be radicalising to violent extremism, or may be advised of concerns by relatives or friends of an at-risk individual.

The below fact sheets have been developed for a range of health professionals, including nurses, GPs, psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers. They are designed to provide advice and support, including referral pathways and options to source further information.