Child-On-Child-Abuse: Signs and Indicators

What Is Child-On-Child Abuse?

Child-on-child abuse, also referred to as peer-on-peer abuse, is when children under the age of 18 sexually, physically or emotionally abuse another young person. Children may abuse other children because of the perceived vulnerabilities or differences of the victim. For example, children may abuse other children because of their race, sexual orientation, religion, disability etc.

Additionally, children who abuse other children may suffer from unstable conditions in their own lives; they may be exposed to domestic abuse or be subject to abuse themselves and therefore project their trauma onto other children. Regardless, child-on-child abuse is wrong and no children should have to suffer from this treatment.

Signs and Indicators of Child-On-Child Abuse

Sometimes it can be difficult to spot the warning signs of child-on-child abuse because children are afraid to speak out. However, the following list demonstrates indicators that a child may be experiencing abuse from another young person:

  • they are bullied/teased
  • they have unexplainable marks/bruises
  • they appear withdrawn/anxious
  • they have an inappropriate knowledge of sexual intercourse for their age
  • lack of sleep
  • poor mental health
  • behavioural changes
  • They go missing/miss their curfew
  • random bursts of anger
  • alcohol or other substance abuse

Reporting Child-On-Child Abuse

It can be difficult to spot the warning signs of child-on-child abuse therefore knowing when to report a child to the authorities can be challenging. It is crucial to look for interlinking factors rather than isolated incidents; just because a child experiences behavioural changes does not always mean they are suffering from abuse.

Keep an eye out for repeat patterns of unusual/alarming behaviour; if you suspect child-on-child abuse taking place, report it to the police.

Get In Touch

If you think a child is experiencing abuse, please contact the police.

Alternatively, if you wish to claim on behalf of a child, or if you experienced child-on-child abuse when you were younger and would like to claim historical abuse, please get in touch at 0151 242 5111 or Our team of empathetic solicitors will let you know if you are eligible for compensation and can inform you about the claim process. We have a “No Win No Fee” policy; you won’t have to pay for our services unless you win your claim then a small fee will be deducted.

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