In early 2018 Amy ‘Dolly’ Everett tragically took her own life after being subjected to an extended period of bullying and cyberbullying; a story which touched so many nationwide. Her family has rallied around this devastating incident to raise awareness for bullying through ‘Dolly’s Dream” – a campaign focused on research, education and planning and implementation for others dealing with bullying and also for families who have experienced similar tragedies.
Adding to this, the NSW Government introduced new laws known as “Dolly’s Law” (thanks to the permission of Dolly’s parents) which target online bullies and trolls in an effort to tighten up the penalties they receive and provide greater protection for their victims. The Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act (NSW) 2007 has addressed the changes by expanding the definitions of “intimidation” and “stalking” to cover conduct which occurs through the use of technology and the internet.
Under the Act, an example of intimidation through cyberbullying is stated as follows:
“the bullying of a person by publication or transmission of offensive material over social media or via email”.
Abusive, threatening or hurtful emails, messages, photos or videos posted online are captured by this.
Stalking now includes, amongst other things, “contacting or otherwise approaching a person using the internet or any other technologically assisted means.” Repeated attempts at sending unwanted emails or messages are captured by this.
For victims of cyberbullying and their families these new changes provide a legal basis for seeking an apprehended violence order. For the perpetrators, they have been warned and are put on notice – that cyberbullying constitutes an offence which may lead to a maximum penalty of imprisonment for 5 years.
If you would like more information or wish to donate to Dolly’s Dream please visit dollysdream.org.au
JMA Legal is a supporter of “Do it for Dolly Day” – a fundraising day for Dolly’s Dream which will continue each year as an annual event.
This article is general information only and should not be relied on without obtaining further specific information.