On Monday, President Lula da Silva sanctioned a law that includes school bullying and cyberbullying as crimes in the Brazilian penal code.
People who practice bullying will have to pay fines and those who do it by cyber means will receive a financial penalty and face sentences of two to four years in prison.
“Approved by Congress in December, the law creates the National Policy for the Prevention and Combat of Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children and Adolescents, which must be implemented through a national plan and reviewed every ten years,” Brasil Ao Minuto recalled.
The new norm defines bullying as “a systematic intimidation, carried out individually or in a group, through physical or psychological violence, to one or more people, in an intentional and repetitive manner, without obvious motivation, through acts of intimidation, humiliation or discrimination or verbal, moral, sexual, social, psychological, physical, material or virtual actions.”
In the case of cyberbullying, the norm includes systematic intimidation carried out on social networks, applications, online games or any digital environment.
Penalties can be even stronger if the harassment is committed using weapons or carried out by three or more attackers.
From today onwards, the Brazilian penal code will also punish inducing or instigating suicide, with sentences of two to six years in prison.
The new law also indicates that for crimes already provided for in the penal code, such as the homicide of minors under 14 years of age, sentences ranging from 12 to 30 years may increase by two thirds if they are carried out in a elementary school.