Bullying in Perú: A Code of Silence?
School violence in Perú consists of acts of confrontation that occur between students, and has been found to have three primary characteristics: (a) it is physical and psychological; (b) it is mostly perpetrated by males; and (c) it is typically committed by adolescent ages 11 to 16 years, not younger children. These three criteria in combination with prevailing Peruvian views of school violence have neglected the identifi cation of hidden forms of school violence such as bullying. Given these conditions, bullying research in Perú is limited. Generally, antibullying prevention and intervention initiatives come from personal initiatives or private institutions without public sector participation. In addition, antibullying programs are located mostly in urban area of Lima. Among the works considered in this chapter are those of the Observatorio sobre la Violencia y Convivencia en la Escuela (OVCE) [Observatory on Violence and Coexistence in Schools] and other formal initiatives in Perú. It has been found that psychological bullying is more frequent than physical bullying in Peruvian schools and that harassment is present in all schools, without exception. Teachers were found to have an attitude of inaction on the issue of bullying, because they consider it normal behavior among students. Among the few interventions being used with bully victims is peer mediation. Thus far, a few private schools have implemented a comprehensive intervention protocol against bullying. It is concluded that the violence in the Peruvian schools is still unacknowledged and is aff ected by a code of silence.