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Senate inquiry deems current cyber-bullying laws ‘adequate’

Michael Pachi

A Senate inquiry into cyber-bullying has found that the current legal framework around the phenomenon is ‘adequate.’

The report says that existing law sufficiently penalises cyber-bullying perpetrators. However despite this deemed adequacy, nine recommendations have been issued to try and work towards stamping out the issue.

Josh Dalgleish from Kids Helpline says that the inquiry confirmed the enormity of the issue.

“ The inquiry found that bullying and cyber-bulling is a social and public health issue,” said Mr Dalgleish.

“ In terms of the context of cyber-bullying, the peak ages when it  occurs is age 12 to 14. This is a time when children are learning about themselves, developing their identity and their relationships.”

“ At this tender age, they are developmentally immature, which makes them risk takers. They experiment with the technology that is available to them.”

The paramount importance of educating kids about cyber-bullying was emphasised by the organisation.

“We’ve given children a very powerful tool. The internet is a great communication and education tool, but it has a dark side. We need adults that mentor children on this.”

The Kids Helpline spokesmen also spoke on his organisation’s submission into the inquiry.

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Michael Pachi