Peer on peer abuse occurs when a young person is exploited, bullied and / or harmed by their peers who are the same or similar age; everyone directly involved in peer on peer abuse is under the age of 18.
This form of abuse occurs when there is any kind of physical, sexual, emotional or financial abuse or coercive control exercised between children both on and offline. Staff at St. Mary’s understand the importance of challenging inappropriate behaviours between children/young people. It is important, as a community, that we don’t downplay certain behaviours, for example as “just banter”, “just having a laugh” and “part of growing up”. We know and recognise that emotional bullying can sometimes be more damaging than physical harm and should be taken equally seriously.
What To Do
· Talk to someone you can trust, a teacher, parent, older friend or relative.
· Be persistent. If the first person you talk to ignores you don't give up, speak to someone else.
· If you can, write down everything you are concerned about. When you have found someone you can trust and who is helpful, discuss what you have written with that person. Be very careful to only write down things which really happen.
· If you find it difficult to talk to an adult at school, ask one of your friends to come with you, or ask someone to talk to an adult on your behalf.
· You could telephone Childline (Freephone 0800 441111 or Freephone 0800 1111). Their helpers provide a confidential counselling service for young people in trouble or danger.
· Most importantly, do something, by reporting your concern. Sometimes these things be stopped quickly but doing nothing means it may continue until someone is seriously upset or hurt. If behaviours are not challenged they are unlikely to stop.