Log in
  • Home
  • Child Safeguarding: Preventing and Responding to Peer-On-Peer Sexual Abuse

Course Title

Child Safeguarding: Preventing and Responding to Peer-On-Peer Sexual Abuse

Course Number


Course Overview

School counselors play a variety of roles in child safeguarding. They may serve as a member of the child safeguarding team, act as the designated safeguarding lead, provide support to students involved in safeguarding issues, or function as a first responder when concerns arise. In this course we will focus on the school counselor’s response to suspected peer-on-peer sexual abuse, discussing the types of online and offline violence that may occur, as well as risk factors and possible indicators of abuse. We will examine the barriers experienced by students when disclosing their experiences, and practice the trauma-informed response to a disclosure of peer-related sexual abuse made by children of varying age. We will examine strategies to prevent peer-on-peer sexual abuse, including student curricula addressing consent, boundaries and respect. Given the international nature of the school setting, we will discuss possible cultural differences in a student’s experience of and response to peer-related sexual violence and ways counselors may bridge cultural gaps as they work with students and caregivers. This course will use case scenarios, large and small group discussions and role-plays. Participants are strongly encouraged to share their experiences, knowledge and views.

This course will support you in providing strategies for your students to be able to:

Competency A1: Social and self-awareness

A2: Relationships

B1: Decision making

This course is aligned to the following school counselor standards and competencies:

B-SS 3: Provide short-term counseling in small group and individual settings:

Use data to identify students in need of counseling intervention

b. Provide support for students, including individual and small-group counseling, during times of transition, heightened stress, critical change or other situations impeding student success

c. Explain the difference between appropriate short-term counseling and inappropriate long-term therapy

d. Explain the impact of adverse childhood experiences and trauma, and demonstrate techniques to support students who have experienced trauma

e. Respond with appropriate intervention strategies to meet the needs of the individual, group or

B-PF 6. Demonstrate understanding of the impact of cultural, social and environmental influences on student success and opportunities

a. Demonstrate basic knowledge and respect of differences in customs, communications, traditions, values and other traits among students based on race, religion, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical or intellectual ability and other factors

b. Explain how students’ cultural, social and economic background may affect their academic achievement, behavior, relationships and overall performance in school

c. Maintain and communicate high expectations for every student, regardless of cultural, social or economic background

d. Explain the dynamics of cross-cultural communications and demonstrate the ability to communicate with persons of other cultures effectively

e. Collaborate with administrators, teachers and other staff in the school and district to ensure culturally responsive curricula and student-centered instruction

f. Understand personal limitations and biases, and articulate how they may affect the school counselor’s work

Intended Audience

School Counselors

Essential Questions

What types of peer-on-peer sexual violence occur in international schools?

Why might students who experience sexual violence by peers be reluctant to disclose their abuse to adults?

How might school counselors optimally respond



Participants will have knowledge about:

Participants will be able to:

  • Multiple types of online and offline sexual abuse that may occur between peers
  • Basic strategies for using a trauma-informed, student-centred approach when responding to suspected peer-on-peer abuse
  • The Stages of Change model and Motivational Interviewing techniques
  • Apply the trauma-informed, student-centred approach to situations involving suspected peer-on-peer sexual abuse
  • Support school curricula on child safeguarding to include respect for others, appropriate boundaries within a relationship, and issues of consent
  • Apply the Stages of Change model and basic MI techniques when working to facilitate change in student and/or caregiver attitudes and behavior

About the Facilitator

Jordan Greenbaum, MD is the medical director of the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, and past medical director of the Stephanie Blank Center for Safe and Healthy Children at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. She is a retired child abuse physician living in Atlanta, GA. Dr. Greenbaum is a board member of the International Society on the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN) and a past president of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children. She has provided training and technical assistance to international school staff, health and mental health professionals, as well as social workers, law enforcement officers and prosecutors globally to improve the community response to child abuse, exploitation, and trafficking. She provides training and technical assistance regarding the trauma-informed, rights-based approach to interacting with children and families who have experienced trauma related to sexual, physical or community violence, and forced migration.

Dates and times of offerings

February 01, 2024, 10AM GMT

Contact hours

3 hours

Time commitment between sessions


Required Resource(s)



Miller, W. R., & Rollnick, S. (2013). Motivational interviewing: Helping people change, Third edition. New York: Guilford Press.

Arenson, M., & Forkey, H. C. (2023). Violence exposure and trauma-informed care. Pediatr Clin N Am, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pcl.2023.06.010.

Forkey, H., Szilagyi, M., Kelly, E. T., & Duffee, J. (2021). Trauma-Informed Care. Pediatrics, 148(2), e2021052580. doi:10.1542/peds.2021-052580

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2014). SAMHSA's concept of trauma and guidance for a trauma-informed approach. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Finkelhor, D., Turner, H., & Colburn, D. (2022). Prevalence of Online Sexual Offenses Against Children in the US. JAMA Netw Open, 5(10), e2234471. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.34471

Koops T, Dekker A, & Briken P. (2018). Online sexual activity involving webcams--An overview of existing literature and implications for sexual boundary violations of children and adolescents. Behav Sci Law, 36, 182-197.

Allnock, D., & Atkinson, R. (2019). 'Snitches get stitches': School-specific barriers to victim disclosure and peer reporting of sexual harm committed by young people in school contexts. Child Abuse and Neglect, 89, 7-17.

International School Counselor Associations © 2021, All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use. Website by Nicasio LLC

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software