As a powerful and beneficial tool, the internet may also be used for violence, harassment, and bullying. Unlike ordinary bullying, Cyberbullying is conducted exclusively online, using mobile phones, texting and chat rooms, or social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, making it harder for the victim to flee the abuse and avoid involving authorities.
Young individuals in Australia suffer from a major issue of Cyberbullying. Almost one-third of Australian kids are subjected to Cyberbullying, which results in significant emotional, bodily harm or even suicide in certain circumstances, according to federal government statistics. Some of the best criminal lawyers in Sydney specialise in criminal law and deal with Cyberbullying. Choose one of the best criminal law firms in Sydney that can assist you with understanding your rights surrounding Australian cyber law.
We can also help in case you need help with a criminal or civil case and require a lawyer in Parramatta. Let’s first understand:
What is Cyberbullying?
The Human Rights Commission defines Cyberbullying as using the internet, a phone, or a camera to harm or humiliate someone. Offensive text messages, threats of damage through instant messaging, disseminating disinformation, and using status updates to communicate unpleasant words or personal images are examples of online bullying and harassment.
The Australian government established the eSafety Commissioner in 2015 to examine claims of online misconduct. Since its inception, the commission has received hundreds of complaints about Cyberbullying. A 63% increase in Cyberbullying complaints was reported in 2016-17 compared to the previous year.
We, at Eden King Lawyers, are all criminal law specialists, including digital and Cyberbullying issues. Thus, we can assist you with any legal issues surrounding cyber law. We can also help in legal advising as experienced lawyers in Parramatta.
What are the effects of Cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying affects children, adolescents, and adults alike. 1 in 5 Australian teens reported being socially rejected, intimidated, or mistreated online in 2017, while 1 in 5 admitted to behaving poorly against a peer online.
Among the various other effects that Cyberbullying may have on its victims are the following but are not limited to:
Convincing that you are completely hopeless or idiotic is a typical mental condition. Psychologically, there is a feeling of shame, a loss of interest in once-enjoyed hobbies, a desire to withdraw, and a low opinion of oneself. When you’re under a lot of stress, your body might feel the effects, including weariness, insomnia, and physical symptoms like headaches, stomachaches, racing hearts and tightness in your chest.
Is Cyberbullying legal in Australia?
In addition to all of the problems mentioned earlier and concerns about Cyberbullying and legal assistance, the rules and regulations of Australia are important to know if you find yourself in a legal situation.
The Criminal Code Act of 1995 makes it a felony to engage in serious internet harassment or bullying, and offenders face a maximum sentence of three years in jail or a monetary penalty. To put it another way: Yes.
What criminal laws apply in the case of Cyberbullying?
The New South Wales state government is currently working on passing legislation that will clarify the definitions of “stalking” and “intimidation” about Cyberbullying. This is being done as a direct response to the growing number of instances of bullying that are being carried out on social media platforms.
Those who engage in the behaviour of Cyberbullying are subject to legal repercussions in the state of New South Wales, thanks to the implementation of Section 13 of the Domestic and Personal Violence Act of 2007, sometimes referred to as “Dolly’s Law.” This provision was passed in 2007.
According to this provision, it is illegal to engage in behaviours such as stalking or intimidating another person with the intent to make that person fear for their physical or mental safety. Such behaviours would be considered illegal if they were done to cause that person to fear for their safety.
On the other hand, according to Australian law, using a mobile phone, email, or social networking site is a criminal offence to harass or abuse a specific person. This includes both verbal and physical abuse.
What can you do about Cyberbullying?
The best way to combat Cyberbullying is to stop it before it starts. If someone is harassing you online, let them know it’s not okay and then ban or cancel their account if they continue to abuse you. Telling an adult you can rely on about your conduct may also be a good idea. Keep an eye on who has access to your online accounts, and make sure your privacy settings are adjusted so that only your closest friends can view your posts.
In addition to these precautions, criminal law firms in Sydney usually provide you with the best help you may need as soon as you reach out to them. Our practice guides you through the process, from knowing the law to filing a case.