The abuse of power relationships between school began to take off his invisibility late from the pioneering studies of Dan Olweus in Scandinavia for almost thirty years 1. Little by little they have been taken seriously in other European countries, together with Australia and Japan and later in the US2, much remains to prevention which is a priority in the daily practice of schools in many locations . The phenomenon is also often known by its Anglo-Saxon expression school bullying, but also as victimization, intimidation, harassment, albeit in many forms beyond the explicit or harassment is harassment and social exclusion3.
Since the concept has been extended to meet new examples of this perverse relationship, its definition has become more general and inclusive: process by which one or more persons exert physical or psychological harm to another, usually from repeated and so an advantage, making the victim feel powerless against their attackers. You can start as jokes about physical or psychological aspect of a fellow, whose jokes annoying effect on the victim makes reiteration for this result, and that can lead to other types of attacks, physical or not. It may be a plan to isolate a person from the whole group, eg a girl by her ex-boyfriend to decide she did not continue the relationship. Such experiences are what is generally known as mistreatment or abuse of power between equals, and become school-not only at the stage of secondarily in an unsafe place, away from welfare should frame school learning, being welfare same learning to be achieved and that depends very closely of interpersonal relationships.
Of course, this is a phenomenon that is not unique to the school. As in other areas, the school appears sometimes underestimated, sometimes ignored or muted, making it hard for action to solve it. The widespread idea that is not serious is a myth among others (ie why problem become something that has always happened; occurs only with certain guys or certain centers, etc.) widely denied by the body of knowledge that we have right now about phenomenon4. We know it is a reality in almost all schools. The lack of specific cases confirms that it remains a hidden almost always adults phenomenon.
What distinguishes peer abuse of other types of abuse such as domestic, is directed to the child or couple-it is precisely the context-group companions in which it occurs and the characteristics of the relationship between the involved . It may be admitted that they are not equal in all the fields: a stand on an issue or skill, others in others. The problem of the abuse of power is that the victim is denied a higher status in any way: it is an amendment to the whole, it is to deny the other, which has a powerful influence on self-esteem in a very vulnerable age to the self-image the pair returned.
Early studies in the Spanish state were developed late ochenta5, creating research groups focused first on the incidence and then intervention models and exploring different aspects of fenómeno6,7. In this context, and due to some incidents in secondary schools, requested by Parliament a report of the Ombudsman for People focused on this problem. The study, conducted with a representative sample of three thousand students of ESO of all regions, types of schools and localities of different size, is an accurate picture of the state of the cuestión8-9.