Bullying and victimisation
Bullying is an ongoing misuse of power in relationships causing physical and/or psychological harm.
The law of equal opportunity protects people from bullying. This is based on personal characteristics such as race, religion or sexuality.
- take many forms, including:
- text messages
- social isolation
- ignoring people
- unfair work practices
- involve many different forms of unreasonable behaviour, which can be obvious (overt) or hidden (covert)
- be intentional or unintentional.
Sometimes people do not realise that their behaviour can be harmful to others. This does not make it OK.
Cyberbullying can occur in many ways:
- abusive texts and emails
- messages, images or videos including image-based abuse (sometimes incorrectly referred to as 'revenge porn'), where a person distributes or posts false, humiliating or intimate/ sexualised videos or photos of you without your consent
- imitating others online by using an alias
- humiliating, harassing or threatening people and/ or their family or friends online
- hacking and misusing another person's email accounts
- nasty online gossip and chat.
For more information on cyber abuse, cyberbullying and image-based abuse. Please view the eSafety Commissioner's website.
We disallow retaliation against anyone involved in a complaint of unacceptable behaviour.
Victimisation is against the law. It is the action of singling someone out for cruel or unjust treatment. This may be due to that person:
- asserting their rights
- refusing to do something
- making a complaint or helping someone else make a complaint.
Victimisation also comes in the form of threatening someone (such as a witness) who may be involved in investigating a concern or complaint.
This is a very serious breach of policy and may result in formal discipline against the perpetrator.
Support and resources
- Safer Community: Contact Safer Community if witness or experience unacceptable behaviour
- Counselling Support: Provides counselling support on a range of issues that may be affecting a person’s wellbeing
- Resolving Conflict [PDF 233KB: A factsheet produced by our Safer Community team which has tips on how to resolve conflict
- Safer Community Respondent Factsheet [PDF 440KB]
- Use our crisis line for out of hours Mental Health and Wellbeing Support. Phone: 1300 146 307 or text: 0488 884 100. This service operates 5.00 pm–9.00 am on weekdays and 24 hours during weekends and public holidays.
- Emergency: In an emergency ring: 000 and then security: 9479 2222
- Lifeline – For anyone experiencing a personal crisis 24 hours a day, call: 13 11 14
- Beyond Blue – 24/7 phone support, chat online service and resources for those needing support
- Headspace – Free online and phone support and counselling to young people aged 12–25 years old and their families and friends
- Switchboard – For LGBTIQA+ specific support and referral.