A North Yorkshire Charity, The Marie Collins Foundation has launched a survey to establish the scale of “peer on peer abuse” in Britain.

The Marie Collins Foundation fears that, “the proliferation of mobile devises being used by children is putting more young people at risk of online sexual abuse, including grooming, sexting and distribution of sexualised content among their own peers.”

The Charity is working with the University of Suffolk to try and establish the scale of the problem and how well equipped schools fear they are able to cope with the problem and protect children in their care.

Professor Tink Palmer the founder of the Charity has said,

“While the internet has many advantages especially for schools, there are those who abuse it and use it to commit abuse. Sadly, often through ignorance, children may unwittingly also break the law. For those of us working with young people, protecting them from harm is of paramount importance. We all have a vital role to play in helping to address and tackle this problem and to work in partnership with industry, law enforcement and other professionals to protect children even further.”

“This is the first national survey of its kind into how these issues are impacting on the daily life of children and schools and adding to the workload and responsibilities of educationalists. By taking part our education colleagues across the country will help us to identify the scale of the issues and contribute towards any recommendations for improvements in this area.”

The aim of the survey is to:

  • Identify more closely the scale and impact on schools of this type of abuse;
  • Improve understanding of the challenges schools currently face in how they respond;
  • Measure levels of confidence among professionals in how appropriately and effectively they feel able to deal with it;
  • Establish future training needs and improvements in guidance.

The Foundation has an annual conference in London in June and the findings will be announced then.

The survey can be found at: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/peeronpeerabuse

 

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