Cyberbullying Explained By Lawyers In Edmonton

Defined as a continuous display of aggressive behaviour by one individual towards another, bullying is cited as an issue of prominent concern among 89% of school teachers in Canada. Enabled anonymity with the use of virtual mediums of communication such as electronic mail, text messaging and social media, cyber bullying is an extended version of harassment currently commonplace in most educational institutions.

Based on a report compiled by the Canadian Red Cross, 49.5% of students have experienced cyberbullying at one point or another during their school term. Bullying, physical, psychological or emotional, irrespective of its form leads to increase in absenteeism, plummeting of performance levels and eventual dropout of students. Hence, it is crucial for parents to be well versed with cyberbullying laws and its relevance for their child’s conduct.

Here’s a closer look at the cyberbullying laws in Canada and ways in which lawyers in Edmonton can help the victims:

Definition of Cyberbullying

As defined by the official portal of Royal Canadian Mounted Police, bullying occurs when a person continually says or does things which are spiteful and derogatory to another individual, especially without any consequences or retaliation. Bullying can take place in a group or separately and creates an imbalance of power in the social environment.

Cyberbullying is an extension of bullying which transpires with the aid of electronic mediums of communication such as the internet, social media sites, text messaging apps, websites or any other virtual mode of contact. Common ways in which individuals confront incidents of bullying online are:

  • Threat of exposure of private or discomforting data and images
  • Reception of blackmailing or intimidating texts demanding payment in some form
  • Creation of portals such as Facebook pages or websites that humiliate an individual
  • Catfishing

Legislation Regulating Cyber Bullying

As mentioned previously, cyberbullying not only affects the mental and emotional security of individuals but may also affect their careers and relationships in the long term. However, due to the ubiquitous nature of virtual mediums, it can be difficult to identify and castigate the offenders.

Cyberbullying laws in Canada are evolving with the formulation of a distinct legislation in Nova Scotia. But there are certain provisions of the Canadian Criminal Code which are applicable for specific offenses of cyberbullying including:

  • Criminal Harassment
  • Assault
  • Verbal threat and extortion
  • Defamation
  • Identity Theft

Depending on the offence, referring to an experienced lawyer can help you take necessary actions to deal with cyberbullying effectively.

Measures Victims Can Take

It is crucial for victims and their parents or guardians to take immediate action if faced with consistent cyberbullying. It is recommended that individuals should:

  • Immediately exit the conversation and block the source
  • Keep an accurate track record of the threats and messages
  • Report the bullying to a trusted adult in case of minors or report the offence to administrative or legal authorities in case of adults.

It is also recommended for individuals experiencing bullying in a professional capacity to consult skilled lawyers in Edmonton to mitigate the situation circumspectly.