Online trolls in NSW will now face being hit with AVO’s and could get up to 5 years behind bars.
NSW state parliament has written laws in line with Dolly’s law. For those unfamiliar with Amy ‘Dolly’ Everett’s story, she was the 14 year old Northern Territory girl who was cyber-bullied horrendously until sadly she took her own life. Her family have since fought hard to bring in Dolly’s law, a series of laws helping to end cyber bullying once and for all.
We at FACAA couldn’t applaud her family more, for their awareness raising campaign after Dolly’s death, to find the strength to rise up from such genuine tragedy and help to make such a lasting and real impact in their daughter’s name is nothing short of extraordinary.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Attorney General Mark Speakman have announced that under new amendments to the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act, NSW Police will soon be able to slap online trolls with an apprehended violence order.
Police will also have the right to arrest offenders, who could face imprisonment of up to five years. Commonwealth laws currently enforce maximum sentences of just three years. The changes are designed to protect people from serious online abuse, ranging from serious cases of cyberbullying and trolling, through to the stalking and harassment of victims of domestic and personal violence.
The new legislation will be introduced into state parliament over the next few weeks. “The change we are announcing today recognises that online abuse can cause victims significant psychological trauma and have potentially devastating, even tragic consequences,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“These changes are not aimed at policing free speech. They are aimed at preventing abuse.”
Examples of abuse that these amendments aim to tackle include posting threatening or hurtful messages, images or videos online, repeatedly sending unwanted messages online, and sending abusive emails.
Mr Speakman said the reforms addressed an emerging trend of offenders threatening and harassing victims on social media.
“This activity can make its victims feel scared, powerless and depressed,” he said.
“The NSW Government is committed to protecting domestic violence victims and other members of the community from new threats that arise with advances in technology.”
We at FACAA have worked closely with the NSW state government and the attorney general Mark Speakman. While we do not endorse any particular political party we absolutely must applaud the efforts of Mr Speakman and his team to bring in laws that will prevent various forms of child abuse.
One law changed at a time and together, we will end child abuse, Rest in peace Dolly your name has been used to inspire laws that will help kids for generations.
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