Children can abuse other children. This is generally referred to as peer on peer abuse and can take many forms. This can include (but is not limited to) bullying (including cyberbullying); sexual violence and harassment; physical abuse such as hitting, kicking, shaking, biting, hair pulling or otherwise causing physical harm; sexting and initiating/hazing type violence and rituals.
When considering whether behavior is abusive, it is important to consider whether there is a large difference in power (eg age, size, development) between the young people concerned or whether the perpetrator has repeatedly tried to harm one or more other children, or where there are concerns about the intention of the alleged perpetrator. Peer on peer abuse can manifest itself in many ways and different gender issues can be prevalent. Staff are aware that it is more likely that girls will be victims and boys perpetrators but understand that all peer on peer abuse is unacceptable and will be taken seriously.
Any allegations of peer on peer abuse will be recorded, investigated and dealt with in line with our Behavior and Safeguarding policies. We will ensure individualized support will be put in place to support any child affected by peer on peer abuse. Regular staff updates on safeguarding will also include peer on peer abuse and the different forms it may take.