Perception of violence

Perceptions of violence depend mainly on the educators’ sensitivity to peer violence. This means that educators:

– have to be observant, they have to notice what’s happening

– have to listen and hear

– recognise a cry for help

– recognise forms of violence

– recognise the characteristics of the phenomenon itself and of those involved in it

– be alert to factors that act as risk factors

– pay attention to their own behaviour, reactions, communication

– have to regularly update knowledge

– seek help when/if the victims cannot


Understanding the dynamics of peer violence in educational institution is important for the detection and identification of violence, and especially to deal with it effectively. In fact, a common reaction to peer violence is that, due to a lack of understanding of its dynamics trying to identify a deficit or weakness in the victim. We then try to address these deficits in order to reduce or stop the peer violence. But this approach is only about dealing with symptoms.


When it comes to peer violence, it is important to look at the big picture and its complexity.


Behaviour (interventions)

When we detect peer violence, we need to take action. Action (intervention, help, reaction) in cases of peer violence can be carried out by educators, school counsellors or both, in conjunction with an external institution. The intervention model includes those ways of responding to violence which:

– provides assistance to victims of violence (psychosocial, legal)

– provides a safe place for victims to retreat to

– works with perpetrators (offering help to change aggressive behaviour)

– guides educational establishments in establishing uniform rules and procedures for dealing with specific cases of peer violence

– informs educational establishments about the competences of external institutions and the obligation to report violence to the external competent institutions (police, social work centres)

– informs about NGO and government programmes to help victims and perpetrators of violence


It is important to react immediately when we perceive peer violence in any way to protect the child who is the victim of violence. It can be protected in different ways, but it is important that he or she is no longer exposed to violence. Only after immediate intervention can we plan further work with the victim, the perpetrator, the perpetrator and bystanders. Any employee of an educational establishment who has perceived violence, reacts immediately.