All of our staff are aware that children can abuse other children - we refer to this as peer on peer abuse. This can happen inside or outside of our setting and online. If parents or children have any concerns regarding peer on peer abuse, they should contact the designated safeguarding lead (Mr Reese or Mrs Pringle) who will always respond and help.
Peer on peer abuse is defined as but may not be limited to:
· bullying (including cyberbullying, prejudice-based and discriminatory bullying);
· physical abuse (this may include an element of online which facilitates, threatens and/or encourages physical abuse);
· sexual violence (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 stand-alone or part of a broader pattern of abuse;
· causing someone to engage in sexual activity without consent
· consensual and non-consensual sharing of nudes and semi nudes images and or videos (also known as sexting or youth produced sexual imagery);
· up-skirting, which typically involves taking a picture under a person’s clothing without them knowing;
· 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).
All of our staff are trained in our policy and procedures with regards to peer on peer abuse and the important role they have to play in preventing it and responding where they believe a child may be at risk from it.
All of our staff are expected to challenge inappropriate behaviours between peers. 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 children and in worst case scenarios a culture that normalises abuse leading to children accepting it as normal and not coming forward to report it and so this behaviour will always be challenged.