Peer on Peer Abuse

What is it?
Peer on peer abuse is any form of physical, sexual, emotional and financial abuse and coercive control, exercised between children and within children’s relationships (both intimate and non-intimate)

What do I need to know?
Peer on peer abuse can take many forms including:

  • bullying (including cyber-bullying)
  • relationship abuse and domestic violence
  • child sexual exploitation
  • youth and serious youth violence
  • harmful sexual behaviour (including sexting & upskirting – see separate sections)
  • gender based violence
  • we never accept abuse as ‘banter’

What are the potential indicators?
Signs that a child may be suffering from peer on per abuse can often overlap with indicators of other forms of abuse:

  • Failure to attend school, disengaging from lessons or a change in performance
  • Physical injury
  • Experiencing difficulties with mental health and/ or emotional wellbeing
  • Becoming withdrawn /shy; experiencing headaches, stomach aches, anxiety, panic attacks, nightmares or lack of sleep
  • Broader changes in behaviour including alcohol or substance misuse
  • Changes in appearance / acting in an age inappropriate way
  • Abusive behaviour towards others

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