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Peer violence is the use of power, threat, or force to abuse, intimidate, or violently enforce dominion over others. It is an intentional, repeated hurtful acts, words or other behaviour, such as name-calling, threatening and snubbing by one or more children against another. This is also known as Bullying.

Causes of Peer Violence
·         Societal and Religious construction of violence

·         Poor parenting

·         Violence in the home

·         Peer pressure

·         Media (movie influence)

·         Absence of love

·         Lack of counseling

·         Depression and tension

·         Absence of pastoral environment in schools

·         School administration: the school administration should be strict enough to check all the activities of students inside the compound

Identifying a Violent child

·         Extreme resentment

·         Recurrent loss of temper or blow-ups

·         Extreme bad temper

·         Extreme impulsiveness

·         Becoming easily irritated

Impact on Children

·         Learning difficulties, problems at school, including truanting

·         Some children act younger than their age

·         Aggression

·         Internalizing distress and becoming withdrawn

·         Low self esteem

·         Difficulties in getting along with others

·         Older children may start to use alcohol or drugs.

·         Self-harm by taking overdoses or cutting themselves.

·         Developing eating disorders

·         Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

·         Emotional problems

·         Become violent themselves

·         Become victims of violence

·         Destructive behaviour

·         Isolation

·         Develop emotional and psychological illness, depression, and suicidal tendencies including traumatic stress reactions, such as flashbacks, nightmares, bedwetting, intensified startle reactions, or constant worry about danger, bad temper

How to Work with Children in School

·         Take Responsibility Both Inside the Classroom and Beyond

·         Don’t allow bias in your classroom

·         Listen to “Idle” gossip

·         Educate yourself on danger signs

·         Discuss violence prevention with students

·         Encourage students to talk about violence

·         Teach Conflict Resolution and Anger Management skills

·         Get Parents involved

·         Take Part in school initiatives

Signs of Abuse

Teachers should observe children’s behaviour to identify the children suffering from domestic violence:

·         Remember there may be a variety of reasons for the student’s behaviour.

·         Student’s exposure to domestic violence may be another possibility

·         Encourage students and increase their sense of security in school by establishing simple rules and procedures so they know what to expect

·         Give direct expectations for things that worry them

·         Allow students to express themselves freely through talk, play and written assignments

·         Teachers should describe behaviour and not interpret it.

·         Teachers should consult with the principal or the school social service worker (Counselor) when a child exhibits traits of being abused by his peers

·         Teachers should talk to the child’s parent, confirm from the parent of the child any noticed behaviour and attitude at home and discuss possible ways on how to support the student

·         Teachers should express concern as they relate to the education of the student in a kind and non-threatening manner.

·         Every issue should be treated with secrecy in order to maintain safety and trust