This website is for use by legal professionals (lawyers and law practices) only. If the information is used incorrectly, you could risk losing money or your legal rights. If you are a member of the public looking for free advice about your legal problems please visit legalaid.vic.gov.au, or contact our Legal Help advice line on 1300 792 387, Monday to Friday from 8 am to 6 pm. 

If you decide to use or rely on the information or make decisions based on the information in this website (which VLA does not recommend) VLA is not liable to you or any third party in any way for any loss, damage, costs or expenses you or they may suffer or incur as a result.

What is bullying?

Bullying is verbal, physical, social or psychological aggressive behaviour by one person or a group of people directed towards a less powerful person or group. This behaviour is intended to cause harm, distress or fear.

Bullying can include a range of behaviours from social, verbal, physical, psychological, aggressive behaviour that is intended to cause harm, distress or fear. For young people particularly, the potential for bullying using social media sites such as facebook are increasingly common.

Serious bullying behaviour is a criminal offence. This is colloquially known as 'Brodie's law'.

Sexting offences

From 3 November 2014 a person may also be charged with an offence if they threaten to publish an intimate image of a person to third parties.

See Sexting offences

More information

Legislation

Crimes Act 1958 (Vic)

  • s. 21A—stalking
  • s. 320—maximum term of imprisonment for criminal defamation is 10 years jail

See Crimes Act 1958 (Vic)(opens in a new window)

Related pages

Reference

Department of Education

The Victorian government site, bully stoppers, informs young people and their parents about bullying behaviour and what they can do to make it stop.

See Department of Education and Early Childhood development—Bully stoppers(opens in a new window)

Youth law Australia

The site was developed by the National Children's and Youth Law Centre, an independent not for profit organisation that supports children and young people by informing them about their right to justice.

See 'Bullying' under the Victoria tab in Youth law Australia(opens in a new window)

See also Youth law Australia—Cyber safety(opens in a new window).

Updated