Sexual Violence & Sexual Harassment between Children
Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children
All those part of our community, believe that sexual violence and sexual harassment is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.
We understand that sexual violence and sexual harassment can occur between two children of any age and sex. It can occur online. It can also occur through a group of children sexually assaulting or sexually harassing a single child or group of children.
We recognise that children who are victims of sexual violence and sexual harassment will likely find the experience stressful and distressing. This will, in all likelihood, adversely affect their educational attainment and will be exacerbated if the alleged perpetrators(s) attends our setting. Sexual violence and sexual harassment exist on a continuum and may overlap, they can occur online and offline (both physical and verbal) and are never acceptable.
Staff are aware that some groups are potentially more at risk. We know that evidence shows girls, children with SEND and LGBT children are at greater risk.
We will ensure that staff are aware of the importance of:
- challenging inappropriate behaviours;
- making clear that sexual violence and sexual harassment is not acceptable, will never be tolerated and is not an inevitable part of growing up;
- not tolerating or dismissing sexual violence or sexual harassment; and,
- challenging physical behaviours (potentially criminal in nature), such as grabbing bottoms, breasts and genitalia, pulling down trousers, flicking bras and lifting up skirts. Dismissing or tolerating such behaviours risks normalising them.
For the purpose of this policy, we use the term ‘victim’, ‘alleged perpetrator(s)’ or where appropriate ‘perpetrator(s)’. Ultimately, the use of appropriate terminology will be determined, as appropriate, on a case-by-case basis.
Along with providing support to children who are victims of sexual violence or sexual harassment, we will provide the alleged perpetrator(s) with an education, safeguarding support as appropriate and implement any disciplinary sanctions. We recognise that a child abusing another child may be a sign they have been abused themselves or a sign of wider issues that require addressing within the culture of our setting. Taking disciplinary action and providing appropriate support, can, and should, occur at the same time if necessary.
We understand that reports of sexual violence and sexual harassment are extremely complex to manage. We know it is essential that victims are protected, offered appropriate support and every effort is made to ensure their education is not disrupted. We also know it is also important that other children, adult students and our staff are supported and protected as appropriate.
We will try to be aware of, and respond appropriately to all reports and concerns, including those outside of our setting, and or online.
Whilst the focus of this policy is on protecting and supporting children, we will of course protect any adult students and engage with adult social care, support services and the police as required