The Law-Incitement to Suicide
Encouraging someone to commit suicide is against the law
It is now illegal, regardless of whether or not the victim attempts to take their own life to encourage someone to commit suicide.
If convicted, a person can be sentenced to up to 3 years in prison.
This applies to anyone aged 14 or over.
The Ministry of Justice states this change “Recognises the distress victims can suffer and sends a message that the potential consequences of this kind of harassment are too serious to ignore”.
What does that mean?
It means that as well as reporting to different Social Media Platforms, if you are being told that ‘You don’t deserve to live’ or ‘Everyone would be better off without you here’ or comments that either encourage or harass you about taking your own life, you have additional support available to you.
This means that you can report this to the police and that there is a clear process that is followed after you report what is happening. In some cases this will involve a court case.
Sometimes, even though it is not ok and making you really upset, this is not enough to charge someone.
Who do I report this to if this is happening to me?
This new legislation is part of the Crimes Act, and so you should report this to the NZ Police.
If you think you or someone else’s life is in immediate danger, you should call 111.
If you are unsure of whether this Act might apply to you or someone you know, you can contact NetSafe for advice.