Every person in sport, in every role, has the right to participate in an environment that is fun, safe and healthy, and to be treated with respect, dignity and fairness.
Bullying has been defined as behaviour that is intentional, harmful, repetitive, and reflects an abuse of power. Bullying behaviours can be physical (hitting, kicking, pushing), verbal (teasing, threatening), or relational (social exclusion, harming friendships, spreading rumours).
What is Cyber Bullying?
Cyber bullying is a form of bullying, which is carried out through an internet service such as email, a chat room, discussion group, instant messaging or web pages. It can also include bullying through mobile phone technologies such as SMS. The number of reports of cyber bullying to the Netalert Hotline has been increasing, particularly since 2006.
Examples of cyber bullying behaviour are:
- teasing and being made fun of;
- spreading rumours online;
- sending unwanted messages; and
Anyone can be bullied online and the bully can act anonymously if he or she desires.
What is Cyber Stalking?
Cyber stalking describes when a person is stalked or harassed by another person using a service of the internet such as email, instant messaging or via a posting in a discussion group. Stalking behaviours can include threats, cryptic messages and sexual innuendo that occur in a frequent and intrusive manner. The usual goal for stalking is to create a sense of fear in the recipient and the motivation is based on control and intimidation.
What Activities can I report?
Under certain circumstances (such as harassment and making threats) cyber bullying maybe a criminal activity and illegal. If you feel your immediate safety is at risk, contact '000' in an emergency situation or your local police. Police around Australia work together to reduce this type of crime and there are serious consequences if people participate in such activities.You can report to the authorities any personal threat that you consider to be stalking. Personal threats are considered as an assault, even when no physical contact has been made.
How can you protect yourself from Cyber Stalking?
Find out what is already published about you on the internet. Type your name into one of the Google services (web, images, groups, directory or news) and see if anything is already online.Stay anonymous. Only use your ISP email for official communication and create other email accounts, for example when you enter an online competition.
Choose a name that you wish to use online which is different to your real name and not specifically a male or female name.
Refrain from submitting any personal information others will be able to see online (e.g., when signing up for an online service such as chat or instant messaging).
Be careful where you display any real life photos. It is easy for others to save these photos and display them on other parts of the internet. Be aware of the online services that people can contact you on and take any precautions necessary to protect yourself and your machine from any attacks when using these services. Only add ‘friends’ who you know are real people and actually exist.
How you stop cyber bullies?
Keep a record including time and date. This may help you, or the police, to find out who is sending the messages.Tell someone. Talk to someone you trust, a parent, friend, Team Manager, Coach or Club Secretary. Contact your telephone or Internet service provider and report what is happening. They can help you block messages or calls from certain senders.
If messages are threatening or serious get in touch with the police. Cyber-bullying, if it's threatening, is illegal.
Don't reply to bullying messages - it'll only get worse if you do. By replying the bully gets what he or she wants. Often if you don't reply the bully will leave you alone.
Change your contact details. Get a new user name for the Internet, a new e-mail account, a new mobile phone number and only give them out to your closest friends.Keep your username and passwords secret. Keep your personal information private so it doesn't fall into the hands of someone who'll mis-use it.
If you’re a parent, what can you do about cyber bullying?
Discuss the incident with your child, assure them that you can help even if you know less about mobiles/internet than they do!
Help your child implement strategies to minimise the harassment.Make your child’s Team Manager or Club Secretary aware of the problem. This will be reported to appropriate authorities to ensure this is investigated.
Share your experiences with other parents, and raise concerns through your child’s Team Manager and Club Secretary in which they’re involved. Remember the law is on your side and it is a criminal offence to use a mobile phone and electronic media to menace or harass another person.
What can my Club/Zone do to help?
All Country Junior Clubs and Zones should promote their organisation as one that will not allow or tolerate cyber bullying or bullying in general. Our Union has policies in place with regards to the Code of Conduct and there are policies that addresses a range of inappropriate behaviours including discrimination, harassment and abuse and provides a complaints process for dealing with incidents.
Cyber Bullying Policy NSW Country Junior Rugby Union advises all participants, including players, parents, Supporters and administrators that cyber bullying in any format is totally unacceptable behaviour within our Union. This includes any form of discrimination, harassment and abuse utilizing the following:
- SMS, Social Media, including Facebook, Myspace and Twitter
- Blogging sites/ForumsClub Websites and forums
This message needs to get out to every person, that cyber bullying is a breach of our code of conduct, and that it is an illegal activity within our State.All Clubs and Zones are to ensure that our Members are aware of this and any breach is to be investigated and appropriate citings and penalties be awarded for this type of behaviour.
All incidents that are reported to your Club or Zone is to be treated seriously and investigated fully. A special email address has been setup for reports to be sent through, this email address can be promoted throughout the clubs, and Zones to use to report incidents of cyber bullying. Or if parents wish to contact and advise of any incidents.
NSW Country Juniors wish to express the importance of this new policy and ensure that it gets the widest distribution.
(Source information from: Australian Sporting Commission website.)