Vaimoana Tapaleao is the New Zealand Herald's Pacific Affairs and People reporter.

Maybe now they'll think twice - victim's mum

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

The mother of a girl left traumatised after a group of girls sent her abusive texts and tormented her over Facebook is relieved at news of the proposed cyber-bullying law.

The woman, who did not want the family identified, said:

"Finally. That's something that needs to happen because I think it's just got out of control.

Read the Herald's "Stop The Bullying" coverage series and more here.

"I think once kids know that there are going to be consequences ... they might start thinking twice about it. It's just a shame that it's got to that stage."

The woman's daughter, "Ella", spoke to the Herald during its Stop the Bullying campaign in May.

She was 14 when a group of girls she had considered her friends turned on her after a rumour that she was interested in a boy another of the group liked.

Now a 17-year-old, she said the harassment started with name-calling and then "it turned a bit ugly," with the girls posting pictures and nasty comments about her on social networking sites.

"They would post pictures of me and tag me in them and get people to write things on them ... It got a bit scary at school."

Yesterday she said she felt vindicated, as measures used to try to protect her and other young people in similar situations had failed.

"If it was a fair process, it would be good because the most punishment that's happening now is getting told off," she said.

"It doesn't really work ... "

"Ella" said although it had taken her a long time to feel confident again, she had put the incident behind her and was now focused on her future.

- NZ Herald

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