YOUNG people suffering bullying from people their own age are being offered help by a charity.

So-called peer-on-peer abuse is abusive behaviour between friends or partners of the same age group.

It can happen at school, online, on a bus, in a park or on the streets – wherever there are groups of young people.

Abuse can vary between verbal insults to physical violence, blackmail and the sharing of private photos online.

The Oxfordshire anti-abuse charity SAFE! says that a lot of the behaviour, like saying nasty things online, are very common and that young people often shrug it off and do not think it’s a serious problem.

It is attempting to find out how its team, alongside the police, mental health services, schools, councils and other charities in the area, can help young people.

It asked victims of abuse what they thought peer-on-peer abuse was and how they thought the services could help them.

In a report published on Wednesday they summarised the eight main ideas.

The first was an idea for a mobile support system so young people could get help around the clock.

Other ideas included approaches groups and organisations could take, such as respecting young people, learning about what they like spending their time doing, not blaming them unnecessarily, and working online.

It reported that youngsters often reported that those in most need of help were often the perpetrators of the worse abuse.

The charity worked on the report, which was published on its website, after getting cash from the Police Property Act Fund (PPAF) – a scheme led by the Police and Crime Commissioner Anthony Stansfeld.

Money in the PPAF is generated through sales like the Thames Valley Police eBay page.

On the buying and selling page, officers in Milton Keynes list things which have been seized during investigations.

The money made from sales is then shared among local good causes who apply to the scheme, which opens twice a year.

After applying for the PPAF last year, SAFE! Secured £5,000 to support its research.

The charity was set up in 2008 to find creative ways to support young victims. It helps those aged five to 2 who live in the Thames Valley and have been hurt in a crime.

Mr Stansfeld said: “Research into this can provide a really useful insight into the impact it can have on young people’s lives.

“I look forward to seeing the benefits this report will have in tackling peer-on-peer abuse across the region.”

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Chloe Purcell, Director at SAFE!, said: “At SAFE! we support young people affected by any type of crime around the Thames Valley. We wanted to conduct this research because of the number of young people we were supporting who were reporting abuse from other young people.

“Through this report we are delighted to be able to provide a look into how young people, parents and professionals see peer-on-peer abuse and the impact it can have on the lives of young people. Following our research we are calling for an increased focus on this pervasive issue through promotion of collective language, learning and practices.

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“We would like to thank the Police and Crime Commissioner and Thames Valley Police, for providing the funding to produce the report, as well as our partners and young people for taking part in our research on this important area.”

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For a copy of the full report, visit the SAFE! website at