Child-on-child abuse

Information Page 

What does it mean?

Child-on-child abuse is behaviour by an individual or group, intending to physically, sexually or emotionally hurt others.

All staff should recognise that children are capable of abusing their peers. All staff should be aware of safeguarding issues from peer abuse including:

  • bullying (including cyber bullying – See Section 6)
  • physical abuse such as hitting, kicking, shaking, biting, hair pulling, or otherwise causing physical harm
  • sexual violence and sexual harassment
  • sexting (also known as youth produced sexual imagery. See Section 9)
  • initiation/hazing type violence and rituals.


Why does it happen?

This abuse can:

  • Be motivated by perceived differences e.g. on grounds of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability or other differences
  • Result in significant, long lasting and traumatic isolation