The rapid adoption and growth of the internet has given way to many threats. Bullying is harassment by one person or group towards another, cyberbullying extends from this in that it involves technology such as mobile phone or the internet.
Anonimity of these technologies makes it easier for someone to become a bully. One national study conducted recently by Australia’s Child Health Promotion Research Centre (CHPRC) found that 7-10% of students aged Year 4 to 9 reported being cyber bullied. Other studies recorded the overall incidence of cyberbullying to be around 20% of young people.
The Australian Government launched a campaign earlier this year called “The Line” to educate the school children and their parents on what has been happening with these new technologies and where differentiation is between normal teenage behavior and unacceptable bullying.
Cyberbullying is considered a form of assault and can be charged under State Law either as assault or the ‘misuse of telecommunication services” under Federal Law.
More information can be found here
Cross, D., Shaw, T., Hearn, L., Epstein, M., Monks, H., Lester, L. & Thomas, L. (2009) Australian Covert Bullying Prevalence Study (ACBPS). Child Health Promotion Research Centre, Edith Cowna University, Perth.
- As cited in Campbell, M. (2007) Cyber bullying and young people: Treatment principles not simplistic advice. Paper of the week 23rd February 2007.