The Crimes Amendment (Bullying) Act 2011, introduced in Victoria in April 2011, is intended to strengthen the existing offence of stalking in the Crimes Act 1958 to cover the range of serious bullying behaviour. The new laws provide the power for a court to impose a custodial penalty for serious bullying. The Act sends a strong message that such behaviour will not be tolerated.
Bullying is a serious criminal act which often has long lasting physical and psychological consequences. Bullying at school, for example, often leads victims to suffer from issues of poor self esteem and depression both while the bullying is occurring as well as later in life.
Bullying, either at school or anywhere else, including the workplace, should not be tolerated and where appropriate should be reported to the police as it is a criminal matter and schools, employers and other such institutions should encourage and support victims to do so.
If you have been the victim of bullying or any other serious crime in Victoria and have reported it to the police contact Victims of Crime Counselling & Compensation Services on Freecall 1800 000 055 for assistance.