The forms of violence are mainly physical violence, emotional violence such as exclusion by friends and sexual harassment.
The survey showed only one in every 10 students is not exposed to any form of violence. The survey was conducted in various provinces with the participation of around 10,000 students. One in every two students is violent towards their peers almost every day, the survey revealed. Three in every 10 students said they had used violence against their peers at least once in their lives.
Associate Professor Metin Pişkin, the main coordinator of the survey, stated that violence in high schools produces a negative impact on the social and psychological development of adolescents, and students who exercise violence are four times more likely to face imprisonment than students who avoid acts of violence.
The survey also showed that students who are exposed to violence by their peers often end up becoming violent, too.
In addition, two in every 10 students said they have been sexually harassed by their peers. Among all students surveyed, it was mostly 12th graders who tended to be the most violent. According to the survey, male students resort to violence more than female students. Most incidents of violence occur at industrial vocational high schools and fewer incidents occur at imam-hatip religious high schools.
Pişkin said students who are subjected to violence by their peers perform worse in their lessons because they do not like to go to school out of fear that they will be exposed to violence during the day. “A student who is subjected to violence does not like to go to school. He is often absent from school, which inevitably brings with it lack of academic success. Violence by peers also has a negative impact on the psychology of students. Depending on the frequency and intensity of the violence, students may fall into depression,” Pişkin noted.
Pişkin also said parents play a part in the likelihood that their children will use violence against their peers. “If their children are beaten or subjected to another form of violence at school, parents go to the school to defend their children. However, parents tend not to take any action if their children are violent towards their peers. Parents usually tell their children to beat others but not be beaten,” the associate professor added.