Alarming new figures have revealed a surge in public school bashings, with violence between NSW schoolgirls hitting a record high.
Shocking new statistics have revealed a worrying surge in assaults in NSW public schools, with schoolgirl bashings reaching a grim new record.
According to figures from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR), attacks in the state’s public schools have now reached a two-decade high, with 1794 school assaults in the 12 months to June this year.
Violence carried out by female students grew by 4.6 per cent year-on-year over the past 20 years, reaching a record high of 243 this past year.
While most assaults are still carried out by male students, their rates have remained stable.
The data found that on school grounds, male students are most often assaulted by other male students, and female students by other female students, a phenomenon which has been consistent over two decades.
BOCSAR also pointed out that while the data clearly showed an increase in female-on-female school attacks, that trend could be due to the fact that there has been an increase in matters being reported to police, rather than an increase in prevalence.
There could also be an increase in the proportion of cases where police take legal action against the alleged perpetrator.
Meanwhile, legal action regarding assaults on school premises only occur in around 25 per cent of assaults, and according to BOCSAR, the rise in assaults could also come down to the fact that over the past 20 years, the total number of both schools and students has grown.
Sydney psychotherapist Julie Sweet from Seaway Counselling and Psychotherapy told news.com.au she believed the increase in violence among female students most likely came down to a range of factors.
“In my clinical opinion this confronting statistic and the possible reason attacks may have increased is cumulative,” she said.
“Several factors may include social media, environment, violence and abuse modelled by broader society, academic tension, compromised mental health and lack of self awareness around behaviour and consequences.”
Ms Sweet said both victims and perpetrators needed support in order the break the cycle.
“Young female victims require empathy, understanding, compassion, non-judgment and encouragement to reach out to utilise support services,” she said.
“Even if they share their experience with one other trusted adult or a professional, this can be a protective factor.
“Young females who may be perpetrating abuse or violence also require support, in addition to education. Preventive strategies which involve the young person responsible is imperative. We do better when we know better.”
Child psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg also told The Daily Telegraph Covid lockdowns may have been a contributing factor.
“I think that a lot of kids have been under a lot of psychological stress and this might be a manifestation of it,” he said.
“We know that domestic violence is rampant at the moment; if there is one key cause it is that and parental modelling.”