Information for Parents

Cyberbullying

** If you are being cyberbullied, contact the Office of the Children’s E-Safety Commissioner (web: HTTPS://WWW.ESAFETY.GOV.AU/ ; email: ENQUIRIES@ESAFETY.GOV.AU ; phone: 1800 880 176) or Kids Helpline (phone 1800 55 1800). **

WHAT IS CYBERBULLYING?

Bullying is generally defined as deliberate behaviour that is meant to be hurtful; targets a certain person or a group of people through psychological, emotional and/or physical harassment; occurs more than once; and embarrasses, threatens, hurts or intimidates the target of the bullying. 

Cyberbullying is any bullying carried out in the digital space, predominantly online and/or via mobile phones. The eSafety commissioner defines cyberbullying as:

Cyberbullying is when someone uses the internet to be mean to a child or young person so they feel bad or upset. It can happen on a social media site, game, app, or any other online or electronic service or platform. It can include: posts, comments, texts, messages, chats, livestreams, memes, images, videos and emails.

These are some examples of ways the internet can be used to make someone feel bad or upset:

  • Sending hurtful messages about them.
  • Sharing embarrassing photos or videos of them.
  • Spreading nasty online gossip about them.
  • Leaving them out online. 
  • Creating fake accounts in their name.
  • Tricking them into believing you are someone else.

For more information visit the eSafety website.

WHAT CAN YOU DO IF YOU ARE A VICTIM OF CYBERBULLYING?

The first port of call for any child or parent concerned about cyberbullying is the OFFICE OF THE CHILDREN’S E-SAFETY COMMISSIONER.

If someone is being really mean online, first of all it’s a good idea to:

  • tell a trusted adult and ask them to help you – you could show them this page about cyberbullying
  • change the settings on your device or online account so you don’t see so many messages, posts or comments from the person who was mean

If you need cyberbullying material removed:

  • report it to the social media site, gaming site or other app that was used to send, post or share the harmful content (this can be the fastest way to get it removed)

If the site, game or app does not help you within 48 hours, and the cyberbullying is serious enough, eSafety can ask them to remove the harmful content.

For eSafety to investigate, you must live in Australia. Also, the type of cyberbullying must be against Australia’s online safety laws.

This means the content sent to you, or posted or shared about you, must be likely to harm your physical or mental health because it is seriously:

  • threatening (for example, when someone says they are going to harm you, or tells others to harm you) or
  • intimidating (for example, when you stop doing something because someone makes you feel scared or bad about it) or
  • harassing (for example, when someone keeps sending messages to you or keeps sharing posts or comments about you even though you don’t want them to) or
  • humiliating (for example, when someone teases or embarrasses you very badly).

If someone is cyberbullying you in one of these ways you can report it to eSafety, or you can ask a trusted adult to do it for you. The adult can be a parent or guardian, or someone like a carer, teacher or police officer.

If you are a parent or guardian you can report serious cyberbullying to eSafety yourself – if you know your child has been targeted by harmful content, and the site, game or app has not helped within 48 hours.

CYBERBULLYING AND THE LAW

Information about cyberbullying and the law within the Northern Territory can be found at LAWSTUFF the website of the National Children's and Youth Law Centre.  

All schools in NT are required to have anti-bullying plans in place to deal with bullying and cyber-bullying. You can ask your school about their anti-bullying plan (sometimes called a Wellbeing and Behaviour Policy or Code of Conduct) and see what the school is doing to stop bullying from happening.  

If the police get involved, you should contact the NT Legal Aid Commission as soon as possible for free legal advice on 1800 019 343. 

SCHOOLS’ RESPONSIBILITIES

Information about schools' responsibilities can be found in the Members' Area of this website.

READ MORE

OFFICE OF THE CHILDREN’S E-SAFETY COMMISSIONER

HTTPS://WWW.ESAFETY.GOV.AU/

 NT GOVERNMENT: Bullying, cyberbullying and cybersafety

HTTPS://NT.GOV.AU/LEARNING/PRIMARY-AND-SECONDARY-STUDENTS/HEALTH-AND-WELLBEING-OF-STUDENTS/BULLYING-CYBERBULLYING-AND-CYBERSAFETY

 HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION: Cyberbullying fact sheet

HTTPS://WWW.HUMANRIGHTS.GOV.AU/CYBERBULLYING-WHAT-IT-AND-HOW-GET-HELP-VIOLENCE-HARASSMENT-AND-BULLYING-FACT-SHEET

 NATIONAL SAFE SCHOOLS FRAMEWORK

HTTPS://WWW.EDUCATION.GOV.AU/NATIONAL-SAFE-SCHOOLS-FRAMEWORK-0

 SAFE SCHOOLS HUB

HTTP://WWW.SAFESCHOOLSHUB.EDU.AU/

BULLYING. NO WAY!

HTTP://BULLYINGNOWAY.GOV.AU/

CYBERSAFETY HELP FACEBOOK PAGE

HTTPS://WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/CYBERSAFETYHELP

 LAWSTUFF: Bullying at school (NT law)

HTTP://WWW.LAWSTUFF.ORG.AU/NT_LAW/TOPICS/BULLYING/BULLYING-AT-SCHOOL

BEYOND BLUE: Bullying and cyberbullying

HTTPS://WWW.YOUTHBEYONDBLUE.COM/UNDERSTAND-WHAT'S-GOING-ON/BULLYING-AND-CYBERBULLYING

RAISING CHILDREN: Cyberbullying and teenagers

HTTP://RAISINGCHILDREN.NET.AU/ARTICLES/CYBERBULLYING_TEENAGERS.HTML

 ACORN: Learn about cyberbullying

HTTPS://WWW.ACORN.GOV.AU/LEARN-ABOUT-CYBERCRIME/CYBER-BULLYING

 KIDS HELPLINE: Understanding cyberbullying

HTTPS://KIDSHELPLINE.COM.AU/TEENS/TIPS/UNDERSTANDING-CYBERBULLYING/

REACH OUT: Cyberbullying

HTTP://AU.REACHOUT.COM/CYBERBULLYING