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What is victimisation?

Victimisation happens when you are threatened, punished, or treated unfairly because you have made a complaint, or intend to make a complaint, or helped someone else make a complaint, about sexual harassment or some form of discrimination.

No one deserves to be subjected to victimisation, which is unlawful, and in some cases, even a criminal offence.

Victimisation can effect a person’s health and safety, and can cause conditions such as depression and anxiety, and even post traumatic stress disorder.

If you have experienced victimisation, it is important that you seek urgent expert advice.

The law

The legal definition of victimisation is when someone subjects, or threatens to subject, another person to any detriment.

Victimisation is prohibited under federal and state discrimination laws.

In some circumstances, victimisation can be a criminal offence and becomes a police matter if it involves threats to do harm to a person or to their property.

When does victimisation happen?

Victimisation happens when someone is punished, or is threatened with punishment, because they have:

  • asserted their rights, or supported someone else’s rights, under federal anti-discrimination laws
  • made a complaint of discrimination or harassment
  • helped someone else make a complaint
  • acted as a witness to sexual harassment or discrimination
  • attended a conciliation conference

Examples of victimisation

Victimisation can include:

  • bullying and intimidation, including threatening phone calls or messages
  • being sacked or refused a promotion at work
  • being denied further contract work
  • threats to fail someone’s school or university exams
  • threats or actual harm to a person or property

For example:

  • Your boss says you have two days to withdraw your complaint with the Anti-Discrimination Commission, or you’ll lose your job.
  • You work at a bar as a security officer.  Your boss tells you to refuse entry to any Aboriginal people.  When you object to this direction, you’re fired.
  • You’re sexually harassed by a real estate agent, who threatens to evict you from your flat if you make a complaint about him.
  • Your university lecturer invites you out for a drink, and after you refuse, he threatens to mark down your assignment unless you change your mind.

How We Can Help

If you have experienced victimisation, our team of employment lawyers and industrial advocates at Discrimination Claims can help.

We can represent you in the Human Rights Commission, the Fair Work Commission, the Industrial Relations Commission, or any other relevant court or tribunal.

We are specialists at negotiating significant sums of compensation for those who have been subjected to victimisation.

Make no mistake, we will fight for you until we achieve the outcome that you are looking for.

IMPORTANT:  If you have been dismissed from employment as a result of victimisation, you only have 21 days from the date of your dismissal to make a claim, so don’t delay!

Look after yourself

Victimisation can affect people in different ways.

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

If someone is making physical threats against you or your property, contact the police immediately by calling Triple 0.

If you are feeling anxious or depressed, make sure that you talk to someone.

Speak to a friend or you can make an appointment to see your doctor.

Lifeline  13 11 14

1800RESPECT  1800 737 732

QLife  1800 184 527

Beyond Blue  1300 223 636

MensLine Australia  1300 789 978

Kids Helpline  1800 551 800

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LAST UPDATED: January 2023

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