Our response to child on child abuse, including reports of sexual violence or sexual harassment and hate crime
Our response to child-on-child abuse, including reports of sexual violence or sexual harassment
It is our aim to always recognise, acknowledge and understand the scale of harassment and abuse. We aim to never downplay some behaviours related to abuse that can lead to a culture of unacceptable behaviour, an unsafe environment and in worst case scenarios a culture that normalises abuse leading to children accepting it as normal and not coming forward to report it.
Where necessary we will work with other professionals, agencies and partners in our response. This may include the TWSP partners, the relevant local authority children’s social care departments, the police and other services.
We recognise that children may not find it easy to tell staff about their abuse verbally. Children can show signs or act in ways that they hope adults will notice and react. In some cases, the victim may not make a direct report.
The immediate response to a report
If a member of staff thinks for whatever reason that a child may be at risk of or experiencing abuse by another child/ren, or that a child may be at risk of abusing or may be abusing another child/ren, they should discuss their concern with the DSL (or deputy) without delay.
We will reassure all victims that they are being taken seriously, regardless of how long it has taken them to come forward and that they will be supported and kept safe. Abuse that occurs online or outside of our setting will not be downplayed and will be treated equally seriously. We will never give a victim the impression that they are creating a problem by reporting child-on-child abuse, including sexual violence or sexual harassment. Nor will we make a victim feel ashamed for making a report. We will explain that the law in in place to protect children and young people rather than criminalise them, and this will be explained in such a way that avoids alarming or distressing them.