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Peer on peer abuse.

All children and young people are capable of abusing their peers. This can manifest itself in a whole spectrum of behaviours including:

  • sexual violence and harassment
  • physical abuse
  • on-line sexual offences (technology assisted harmful sexual behaviour)
  • initiation or hazing type violence and rituals
  • prejudice based bullying, racism and race hate

All schools need to include peer on peer abuse in their school policies and procedures and all school staff need to be aware of this guidance or policy, ensuring they are part of their practice.

These should include:

  • procedures to minimise the risk of peer on peer abuse
  • how allegations are recorded, investigated and dealt with
  • clear processes, including risk assessments, as to how victims, perpetrators and any other children affected will be supported
  • that responses to sexual violence and sexual harassment between children of the same sex is as equally robust as it is for sexual violence and sexual harassment between children of the opposite sex
  • recognition of the gendered nature of peer on peer abuse, but recognising that all forms of this behaviour are unacceptable and will be taken seriously
  • that all schools should have strategies in place around wider behaviours including on-line sexual offences, sexual harassment and sexual violence

The guidance and policy has been updated for 2021/2022. This version includes:

  • a new Stop It Now traffic light tool
  • a new risk assessment tool to use, In-School Health, Wellbeing and Safety Plan. This is for low level behaviours; if the child/ren are under the age of criminal responsibility; part of gathering information for Early Help assessment
  • the peer on peer abuse model policy now includes race hate and racism and responses to tackling racism and hate crime

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