Trigger warning: this post discusses cyber – bullying. If this is triggering for you, please take care. Feel free to skip this post.
Earlier this month, ABC’s News Director, Justin Stevens condemned trolls for abusing Radio National’s Patricia Karvelas. The abuse Karvelas experienced was largely sexualised, racist and homophobic.
It is disturbing, saddening and angering that Patricia should find herself the target of online trolling and abuse, much of it sexualised, homophobic and racist…
Effects of cyber – bullying
I can’t say I’m a massive Karvelas fan. Honestly, I don’t listen to Radio National. However, I’m vehemently against bullying, including cyber – bullying.
Everyone should know the potentially devastating effects of online bullying. These can include:
- Guilt and feeling like the abuse is your fault
- Sadness and anxiousness
- Feeling unsafe and
- Shame, humiliation and embarrassment
What makes cyber- bullying worse than other forms of bullying is that it can be pervasive. It follows the victim home, any time day or night.
I can’t believe homophobia is still an issue in Australia.
Karvelas has been a journalist since 2003. She started as a cadet reporter in Canberra.
Until recently, Karvelas was in the closet about her sexual orientation and the gender of her partner. She was particularly wary of anti – LGBTQ+ politicians. I don’t blame her for not wanting to be open about her sexuality back then.
Twenty years later, we’ve progressed. Same – sex marriage has been legal in Australia since 2017. Attempts to water down anti – discrimination protections have (so far) been shot down.
Yet, homophobia is obviously still an issue.
In my opinion, bullying based on sexual orientation is one of the worst forms of emotional bullying.
It’s an attack on a person’s core. The threat of being discriminated against or attacked based on sexual orientation just leaves people closeted. The ability to trust disappears and it can take a long time to get it back.
Karvelas has already battled that fear. She shouldn’t have to keep fighting it in 2023.
Karvelas has also allegedly faced racist abuse. For those who don’t know, Karvelas is of Greek descent.
Surely, we all know how terrible and how wrong racism is. Haven’t people learned from the aftermath of the Adam Goodes’ saga in 2015? I know people have different views on Goodes. However, I think clear that racist bullying played a part in ending his AFL career. AFL’s Executive Officer, Gillon McLachlan expressed regret on the AFL’s inaction against the abuse.
In the years since, racism has been in Australia’s consciousness. When AFL spectators abused former Adelaide Crows star, Eddie Betts in 2020, it was condemned immediately. That’s how it should be.
I can’t say it enough. No one deserves to be bullied. Everyone deserves to be safe at home, work and online.
If this post has brought up any issues for you and you’re in Australia, you can contact:
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636
If you are in immediate danger, call 000 (or your national emergency number).