Bullying & Peer-on-peer abuse
Peer-on-Peer abuse occurs when a young person is exploited, bullied and/or harmed by their peers who are the same or of a similar age. Everyone directly involved with peer on peer abuse is under the age of 18.
Bullying and peer-on-peer abuse might include:
- Targeted, verbal, physical, psychological face-to-face harm and/or online bullying
- Sexual violence and sexual harassment, including upskirting
- Sexting (also known as ‘youth produced sexual imagery’)
- Initiation (sometimes referred to as ‘hazing’) type violence and rituals/gang activity
- Abuse within intimate partner relationships.
The Anti-Bullying Alliance defines bullying as;
‘the repetitive, intentional hurting of one person or group by another person or group, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power.’
Bullying is never acceptable and takes many forms. It can be:
- aimed at specific groups of people and be homophobic, racial, disablist, gender related
Face to Face:
- Physical – kicking, hitting, pushing, damaging/stealing property
- Verbal – name calling, teasing, insulting, intimidation
- Psychological – spreading rumours, isolating, mimicking, manipulative, playing jokes to embarrass or humiliate
Happen in cyberspace:
- Texting unpleasant messages, sending unpleasant photos, posting unpleasant messages on social networking sites
At the Academy we take any allegation of bullying very seriously; you can find our Anti-Bullying Policy on the Academy website. If you do have any concerns about bullying please contact your child’s Pastoral Year Leader in the first instance. You can also speak to the safeguarding team.
You might also find it helpful to visit:
Youth Produced Sexual Imagery (Sexting)
Sexting or sending nudes is when someone shares a sexual message, naked or semi-naked image, video or text message with another person. The material might contain images of themselves or someone else but regardless of this it is important young people understand that Sexting, or the possession and sharing of indecent images of children and young people who are under 18 is illegal.
Young people often have access to a number of devices which can be used to send nudes, for example phones, tablets and laptops, any app, site or game, including during a livestream and social media channels.
If you are worried about your child’s behaviour online please contact a member of the safeguarding team. Alternatively, the following sites might be helpful:
Sexual Violence and Harassment
Sexual violence is an unwanted sexual act or activity, or abusive sexual contact. As defined by the Sexual Offences Act, this would include: rape; assault by penetration; sexual assault.
Sexual harassment is unwanted conduct of a sexual nature. This can occur both on and off line and can include;
sexual jokes; sexual comments; sexual name calling; deliberately brushing up against someone; upskirting; sexualised on-line bullying; non-consensual sharing of sexual images (being in possession of a sexually explicit photograph of someone who is under 18 years of age is illegal).
Children and young people can be victims and perpetrators of harmful sexual behaviours.
The rules around consent are:
- Children under the age of 13 cannot consent, the age of consent is 16.
- If the child is under 13, it is statutory rape.
- Consent can be withdrawn at any time and should never be presumed.
- Consent to a sexual activity may be given to one type of activity but not another.
- Consent should also be freely given.
- Pressuring or forcing someone to give consent, is either rape or sexual assault.
If you have any concerns in this area please contact a member of the safeguarding team.
Alternatively, the following sites might be helpful:
Healthy Relationships and Sexual Health
It’s natural for children and young people to be curious about sex and relationships as they grow older. However, when a child start forming relationships with people they are attracted to then this can be a worrying time for parents and carers. More young people also engage in relationships online, and increasingly use social media platforms to communicate with their partners.
Your child may not be able to distinguish between a healthy and unhealthy relationship.
Signs that a child might be in an unhealthy relationship are:
- Becoming isolated and spending less time with family or friends.
- Being subject to controlling behaviour, for example being told what to wear, having to account for where they are or having their social media accounts monitored.
- Feeling pressured into doing things they’re uncomfortable with, for example having sex, or to send nudes or sexual images.
- Having their money, access to food or day-to-day items controlled.
- Being reluctant to go to school
- Persistent changes to a child's mood or behaviour can also be a sign that something's wrong.
- Being bullied or experiencing sexual bullying, either online, in private or in front of others at home or in school.
If you have any concerns about your child then please contact the Safeguarding Team.
For more information, the following NSPCC site might be helpful: