Violence in schools

Violence in schools is often in the public eye. Statistics published by the German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) in 2005 demonstrated that around 11% of all accident involving injuries which occur whilst German school pupils are on their way to and from or in school are attributable to physical violence. In Germany such incidents are known as "scrapping accidents".

Current statistics from the German social accident insurance institutions – the bodies which insure school pupils against accidents when on their way to and from or in school – show that the incidence of scrapping accidents at general secondary schools fell by around a quarter between 2000 and 2007. The number of cases nevertheless remains high. From a statistical perspective, every tenth accident at a primary or secondary school is to be seen as the result of violence. Each year one in a hundred school pupils requires medical attention further to a scrap. Violence led to a bone fracture in at least 7,000 cases during the reporting period. It is also important to note that violence not only results in physical injuries, but also causes mental strain. As statistics are only based on reported injuries, it is to be assumed that they do not include a similarly large number of unreported cases of violence amongst school pupils – and in particular mental violence such as teasing and bullying.

The promotion of violence prevention by the German social accident insurance institutions
The prevention of violence is not a simple task. Which signs point towards a potential risk? What is to be seen as part of normal behaviour amongst children and young people as they grow up? As violence is characterized by complex psychosocial interactions and circumstances, it is difficult for both third parties and those affected to differentiate between violence and normal behaviour.

In addition to providing social accident insurance for school pupils, the German social accident insurance institutions also promote the prevention of physical and mental violence. A range of regional initiatives see them support numerous prevention projects which aim to prevent violence by reinforcing self-assertion amongst pupils and improving the climate in schools.

Touring exhibition "Violence in Schools"
Working together with the German social accident insurance institutions, the iga – a cooperation between the German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV), the Federal Association of Company Health Insurance Funds (BKK BV), the Federal Association of Local Health Insurance Funds (AOK BV) and the Association of Substitute Health Funds (vdek) – has developed and implemented a touring exhibition under the title of “Violence in Schools”. The exhibition aims to raise awareness of violence in schools and introduce both school pupils and teachers to appropriate means of prevention. The touring exhibition first went on display at the didacta education trade fair in Hannover in 2009.


Andrew Orrie
Safety and Health Department
Tel.: +49 30 13001-4541