What are the statistics for peer abuse in public schools?
The statistics for peer abuse vary by type. An estimated 1/4 to 1/3 of students are victims of bullying, as it's commonly defined, whether physical or verbal. 48% of teens were victims of peer sexual abuse in the 2010-11 school year. To the best of my knowledge, this does not include dating violence. 25% of teens are victimized on a daily/semi-daily basis. Maybe 10% of students, elementary through college, report the abuse to adults. In my experience, this is because most of the abuse happens where adults can see/hear it, yet nothing is done. Often, when adults do get involved, their actions are weak and ineffective.
Students--victims, perpetrators and bystanders--need to know that someone cares and, all too often, teachers and administrators will sweep abuse under the rug if given even half a chance. Sometimes, this is because they don't know what can be done about it and fear taking a stand against their supervisors at the cost of their jobs; but, other times, it's because they don't want to get involved. I had one teacher in high school who actively encouraged the abuse. In 4 years, not once did any of my abusers get more than a "warning" from the administration. A couple warnings were much stronger and very effective, at least for a couple of my abusers, but they were still warnings. It's tempting to think that mine is an isolated case, but it's not.