If a young person is experiencing cyberbullying there are steps that can be taken to make complaints against the bully. These are made under the Harmful Digital Communications Act.

Who can apply for help?

The Act aims to protect people (including minors) from cyberbullying and the publishing of harmful digital communications.

Complaints about cyberbullying can be made by the minor themselves, a parent or guardian, or the Police (if the communication threatens the safety of a complainant). A professional leader of a registered school or delegate may also apply, but they will require consent if they are applying on behalf of a child or student.

The first step to making a complaint about cyberbullying is to have the matter investigated by NetSafe. This can be done by registering the complaint online. Once the investigation is finished and NetSafe has tried to resolve the issue, a NetSafe summary will be issued to show this process occurred.

If the applicant is not happy with NetSafe’s outcome, an application can then be made to the court. The court will then consider whether it can issue a Harmful Digital Communications Order.

Who can an application be made against?

The Act has no age restriction that limits who an application can be made against. This means that minors can have claims made against them. This can include being required to appear in court if an application is made against them.

The criminal offences under the Act are treated like other offences so applications against minors go through the youth justice process.

You can find more information on harmful digital communications here.

If you have concerns about cyberbullying, it is wise to speak with a professional experienced in the area about the options that are available to you.

Leading law firms committed to helping clients cost-effectively will have a range of fixed-price Initial Consultations to suit most people’s needs in quickly learning what their options are.  At Rainey Collins we have an experienced team who can answer your questions and put you on the right track.