Peer on Peer Abuse
What is Peer on Peer Abuse?
At Bishop Perowne we understand the importance of challenging inappropriate behaviours between peers that are actually abusive in nature.
Downplaying certain behaviours, for example dismissing sexual harassment as “just banter”, “just having a laugh”, “part of growing up” or “boys being boys” can lead to a culture of unacceptable behaviours, an unsafe environment for students and in worst case scenarios a culture that normalises abuse leading to children accepting it as normal and not coming forward to report it. (KCSIE 21)
Peer on Peer abuse is behaviour by an individual or group, intending to physically, sexually or emotionally hurt others.
We recognise that children are capable of abusing their peers both in person and online and we also recognise the impact that this can have on individuals, their families and friends.
Staff recognise that this can include:
- Bullying (including online bullying)
- Physical abuse such as hitting, kicking, shaking, biting, hair pulling, or otherwise causing physical harm
- Sexual violence and sexual harassment
- Sexting (also known as youth produced sexual imagery); and
- Initiation/hazing type violence and rituals.
This abuse can be motivated by perceived differences e.g. on grounds of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability or other differences.
This can result in significant, long lasting and traumatic isolation, intimidation or violence to the victim.
Therefore, Bishop Perowne staff are advised to maintain an attitude of ‘it could happen here’ where safeguarding is concerned. This includes Peer on Peer Abuse.
How do we respond to Peer on Peer Abuse?
When concerned about the welfare of a child, staff should always act in the best interests of the child. We never do nothing.
We actively remind students about ensuring they report incidents of peer on peer issues to staff, whether they are the victim or someone who has witnessed it. We are clear that it is never acceptable.
We will employ a range of interventions, support and if necessary sanctions to deal effectively with peer on peer abuse if it occurs. This includes working with and reporting to the Police, if appropriate, in order to escalate a case further.
We will support both the victim and perpetrator and offer education around the incident to reduce the risk of it occurring again. Where possible, we will also use mediation and restorative practices to support both parties moving forward. However, each incident will be dealt with on a case by case basis to ensure the best possible outcomes for all parties are secured.
If you need to report any type of peer on peer abuse, or you are concerned about another student, you can speak to or email your Head of Year or a member of the Safeguarding Team. Their contact details are below – just click on the staff member to see their e-mail address.
Remember, never do nothing.
Mr A BrownHead of Year 7
Head of Year 8