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VIC Death Threats - Social Media and Mobile Phone - What to Do?

Discussion in 'Criminal Law Forum' started by Thomas Reynolds, 24 April 2015.

  1. Thomas Reynolds

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    Regarding cyber-threats and feeling unsafe. My name is [Moderator redacted - name], I have been dating a girl ([Moderator redacted - name]) for over a month, and her obsessive, estranged ex-boyfriend has been using social media to message mutual friends making threats to my life or well-being. This includes threatening to break my legs, knock my teeth out and ending my life. I have recorded all of these threats through screenshots and they are still archived on facebook. [Moderator redacted - name] (the person threatening me) has still made repeated attempts to contact and threaten me even after blocking him on these sites, including him getting my mobile phone number and calling me.

    I also believe he has acquired my home address and this is making me feel very unsafe. As well as sending me death threats, he has also been harassing my girlfriend. On the 23/04/2015 [Moderator redacted - name] contacted the police in her local area to try to get preventative measures into place, like a restraining order. They told her that there was nothing they could do about the threats because no confrontation had taken place. Even though we have both blocked him from contacting us over Facebook, he has been sending posts to my friends from school of a similar nature, resulting in threats being sent back from him (from my friends) regarding my safety. These have also been documented.

    [Moderator redacted - name] [He] knows where I go to school and I am worried he might show up and attack me on my way home or some other time.

    My questions:
    • What can I do to prevent this confrontation (utilising police and cyber-bulling laws)?
    • What will both of our legal standpoints be if anything happens, and if there is a fight or confrontation (possibly including some of his friends, as well as mine) how will I be liable?
    • If I retaliate, fearing for my life, would it be considered self defence?

    Additional info: All three of us are 17 years old.

    Thank you in advance for any help
     
  2. CathL

    CathL Well-Known Member

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    Hi there,
    You can apply to the Magistrates Court for a Personal Safety Intervention Order (on the basis that there have been serious threats, and perhaps also harassment and stalking). You don't need the police to do that for you, but they can do that. See:
    You can also ask the Magistrate to stop them from getting another person to threaten, harass or assault you. See: Conditions in a personal safety intervention order | Victoria Legal Aid

    If he/his friends assault you and you assault them back, then you could claim self defence. However, if something went really off and for example, you pushed him back and he hit his head and died, you still may be liable for manslaughter (although the penalty may be reduced if acting in self defence).

    Also, you'd need to apply for an intervention order separately from your girlfriend, and she would apply for her own if necessary.

    Hope that helps.
     
  3. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Hi Thomas,

    I agree with CathL. You can apply to court for a intervention order. You also have a private action (i.e. not criminal and therefore, don't need police assistance) in tort for assault. You can speak with your local community legal centre if you are unclear how to apply for an intervention order or if you would like to discuss the merits of initiating an assault action.
     

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