In our setting we ensure that all staff, children and young people and visitors recognise that peer on peer abuse can be, but may not be limited to (KCSiE 2021 para 49):
- bullying (including cyberbullying, prejudice-based and discriminatory bullying)
- abuse in intimate personal relationships between peers
- physical abuse such as hitting, kicking, shaking, biting, hair pulling, or otherwise causing physical harm (this may include an online element which facilitates, threatens and/or encourages physical abuse)
- sexual violence, such as rape, assault by penetration and sexual assault; (this may include an online element which facilitates, threatens and/or encourages sexual violence)
- sexual harassment, such as sexual comments, remarks, jokes, and online sexual harassment, which may be standalone or part of a broader pattern of abuse; For further information about sexual violence see Annex B (for further information about sexual harassment see Annex B KCSiE 2021)
- causing someone to engage in sexual activity without consent, such as forcing someone to strip, touch themselves sexually, or to engage in sexual activity with a third party
- consensual and non-consensual sharing of nude and semi-nude images and/or videos13 (also known as sexting or youth produced sexual imagery)
- Upskirting, which typically involves taking a picture under a person’s clothing without their permission, with the intention of viewing their genitals or buttocks to obtain sexual gratification, or cause the victim humiliation, distress, or alarm
- initiation/hazing type violence and rituals (this could include activities involving harassment, abuse or humiliation used as a way of initiating a person into a group and may also include an online element).
It may also be behaviour that exploits or is linked to another’s persons vulnerabilities which may be linked to a Special Educational Need or including simply wanting to “fit in” with peers.
In some cases, some people may see verbal harassment against any personal characteristic or sexualised comments as “banter”, “part of growing up”, “so common it is seen as normalised” - it is not.
This type of behaviour is NOT acceptable in our setting and all adults, and young people are expected to positively challenge any such incident, report it to a Phase Leader and follow up with the Designated safeguarding lead/s if needed.
All persons who need to report any unwanted, inappropriate, or hurtful behaviours whether they be on-line, in text type communications, on social media or in person to any member of our staff can be reassured that they will be taken seriously and supported to take any appropriate actions which may be in school or with external agencies as needed.