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Sexual harassment, Sexual Violence and Harmful Sexual Behaviours – Statement

Since the tragic death of Sarah Everard and the Everyone’s Invited website, this issue has become the dominant safeguarding issue for schools across the country. Along with all other schools committed to student welfare and safety, we recognise that our students are at risk of being or becoming victims of sexual violence and harassment, and therefore we choose to respond proactively in order to minimise those risks and protect our children from harm.

This document aims to explain the nature of peer on peer sexual abuse and harassment as well as outlining our response to this important issue. It should be read in conjunction with our existing Safeguarding and Child Protection, Anti-Bullying and Behaviour for Learning policies.

Sexual harassment creates an atmosphere that, if not challenged, can normalise inappropriate behaviours and provide an environment that may lead to sexual violence

Identifying Peer-on-peer abuse and sexual harassment

Peer-on-peer abuse and sexual harassment can take a number of forms, it is unwanted conduct of a sexual nature, which can include:

  • Sexual comments about another’s body
  • Unwanted physical contact
  • Interfering with clothing
  • Comments about another’s sexual experience
  • Sexual “jokes” or taunting including innuendo
  • Rating someone’s attractiveness
  • Jokes about rape or sexual abuse
  • Sexual name-calling
  • Sexual gestures
  • Online sexual harassment
  • Use of mobile phones to share images or take photos without permission

Responding to incidents of peer on peer abuse and sexual harassment

We follow the guidance outlined by the Department for Education document ‘Sexual Violence and sexual harassment between children in schools and colleges

At Chipping Norton School we never pass an incident off as “banter”, “part of growing up” or “having a laugh” even if the victim says that they don’t mind. We recognise the gendered nature of peer-on-peer abuse (that girls will more likely be victims and boys more likely be perpetrators), but that all forms are unacceptable and will be taken seriously. We understand that child perpetrators of sexual harassment are likely to have experienced or witnessed harm or inappropriate behaviour themselves and may need support beyond the Behaviour policy.

  • All incidents of peer on peer sexual harassment are treated as a safeguarding concern and safeguarding procedures are followed
  • Any incidents of unwanted touching under clothes (even if over underwear) will be reported to the Police and MASH.
  • We report all incidents of peer on peer abuse and sexual harassment in line with our Behaviour for Learning Policy, Anti bullying and Child Protection Policy or using the Safeguarding Concern Form on the staff intranet.
  • All students are taught about consent through their PSHCE lessons
  • Staff receive additional training on dealing with disclosure

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