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Every person has the right to feel safe at work, or at school, or going about their daily lives, regardless of their religion, sexuality, gender identity or race.

Vilification is the spreading of hatred publicly against someone, or a group of people, based on one of these attributes.

That hatred can be spread publicly in a number of ways, including by verbal abuse, or in writing, or displayed on signage, or posted on the internet and social media.

Vilification is against the law, and in some cases it can also be a criminal offence.

If you believe you have been the victim of vilification, it is important that you seek professional advice as soon as possible.

Please call Discrimination Claims on 1300 853 837 and our team of experts can help you.

Definition of vilification

Vilification is inciting hatred towards, serious contempt for, or severe ridicule of a person, or group of persons, because of their race, religion, sexuality, or gender identity, by a public act.

Other definitions

Race can include a person’s colour, ethnicity or nationality, descent or ancestry.

Religion includes a belief system or the absence of a belief system.

Sexuality means heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality.

Gender identity means that a person identifies as a member of the opposite sex by living or seeking to live as a member of that sex, or is of indeterminate sex and seeks to live a member of a particular sex.

A public act is any form of communication to the public, such as speaking, writing, printing, displaying notices and messages on the internet and social media.

It also includes conduct observable by the public, including actions, gestures, wearing or display of clothing, signs, flags, emblems or insignia.

Incite means to urge on, stimulate or prompt action.

Hatred is an extreme or intense dislike or detestation.

Contempt is the attitude that someone is worthless or of little account, that involves looking down upon or treating that person as inferior.

Ridicule is to make fun of, deride or laugh at.

Serious vilification

Serious vilification includes a threat of physical harm to a person or their property, or inciting others to threaten physical harm to a person or their property.

It is a criminal offence, and is dealt with by the police.

A person convicted of serious vilification faces up to 6 months in prison, or fines of up to $8,830, and companies up to $44,152.

What should you do if you believe you are the victim of vilification?

If you believe that you have been the victim of vilification, you should seek expert advice as soon as possible.

You may even be entitled to compensation.

Please call Discrimination Claims on 1300 853 837 and our team can advise you what your best options are moving forward.

Take care of your health and well being

Vilification can affect people in different ways.

It is vitally important to look after your health and safety and well being.

If you, or your property are being threatened, call the police.

If you are feeling depressed or anxious, please talk to someone.

You can make an appointment with your doctor, or you can contact:

beyondblue on 1300 22 4636

Lifeline on 13 11 44

KidsHelpline on 1800 55 1800

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