In Bullying Around the World, Cyber Bullying

Mean Girls and A Culture of Cyber bullying in Australia

News is breaking out all over Australia over the amount of women taking apprehended violence orders against other women, it is the story of mean girls with internet access, what are the recent news related to cyber bullying in Australia?

These AVOs are usually taken against men who use violence or threaten to use it against women. The claims in the case of taking out AVOs against other women almost always revolve around women using social media and text messages to harass other women.

According to this source, there were 25,535 domestic violence AVO’s taken out in NSW in 2013. As for the period between June 2013 to June 2014, 6127 combined personal and domestic AVO’s were taken out by people for protection from a female perpetrator. And more than 71 per cent of personal AVOs, as opposed to domestic, were taken out by women for protection from other women. Half of all domestic AVOs taken out against a female perpetrator were also taken out by women.

And it is not just older women having spats online, schools in Queensland are also suffering from waves of online bullying and cyber bullying which prompted the authorities to take notice and set up cyber safety teams to crack down on these hundreds of cyber bullying incidents.

According to this source, more than 320 incidents of cyber bullying were reported by school bodies in Queensland in the school year 2013-2014.

From a student setting up an online rating system of another student’s popularity to students flooding chat rooms with cruel messages about others school colleagues.

Parents were actively involved in resolving the 322 incidents that schools called on the state Education Department’s cyber-safety team to resolve.

It was also reported that cyber safety teams were contacted more than 338 times by schools asking for advice and support in school year 2012-13 at an increase of 60 per cent from school year 2011-2012.

But there is still a ray of hope for the future of Cyberbullying in Australia. As it was declared in October that the Parliamentary Secretary for Communications Paul Fletcher has revealed a plan by the government to pass new cyberbullying laws to be presented to parliament before the end of 2014, the new laws will put Instagram, Facebook and Twitter on what is deemed a “two step monitoring system” to deter online bullies targeting minors.

These laws will be responsible for issuing formal notices to online bullies to remove offensive material or risk being referred to police. It will also allow the companies running these networks to address cyber bullying voluntarily but if they fail to do so, these networks could become subject to a mandatory compliance scheme and face civil penalties for refusing to tackle cyberbullying incidents. The new laws will also create an e-Safety Commissioner that will be empowered to issue notices to cyber bullies to take down harmful online posts, or face court injunctions or police referrals.

We can’t say yet that all is good in the world when it comes to cyber bullying in Australia but it is a start and a start is always good.

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