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Published -
March 20, 2023
Youth voice

Peer Action Collective: Leading research, driving change

The Peer Action Collective (PAC) is a ground-breaking network of young people, who are designing and conducting research about young people’s experiences of violence.

The programme is funded by the Youth Endowment Fund, the Co-op and the #iwill Fund (a joint investment between The National Lottery Community Fund and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport).

Young people’s experience of youth violence

Leading research, driving change is PAC’s first research report. The findings are based on insights gathered by 120 peer researchers, aged 16 to 25, and involved 4,600 participants (aged 10-20).  


Research from the ground-breaking PAC report reveals eight areas where young people want support to make their communities safer and fairer:

  1. We want you to deal with the small stuff.’  Young people want to see us stop ignoring ‘low level’ bullying and homophobic, racist and sexist remarks online or in-person.
  2. We need access to and knowledge of opportunities that are accessible to us. The cost-of-living crisis has only increased the urgency of needing access to meaningful employment.
  3. More youth friendly spaces would contribute to how safe we feel.’  Having access to appropriate physical space contributed to how safe young people feel. Young people need more places to go where they are not competing for space and are supported by adults that they trust.
  4. Schools need to feel like safe spaces and should help prevent violence.’  Young people want their education system to help build a more tolerant society and prevent violence early on.
  5. Mental health support should be easy to access.’ Young people need access to mental health services that are responsive and offer early intervention.   
  6. Young people should feel safe on social media.’  Young people want to feel safe and protected online, especially on social media. They want to know that they can report inappropriate content and it will be managed appropriately and quickly.  
  7. ‘We need you to consider the inequalities and lived experiences of young people to find solutions to youth violence.’  Young people’s identities shape the way they experience youth violence and inequalities and must be recognised when working to reduce it.
  8. Young people should be partners in developing solutions to change’ Engagement needs to be genuine, with a commitment to implementing change.