Charlotte Dawson speaks about cyber bullying
Monday 3 Sep 2012 12:11 p.m.
By 3 News online staff
TV host Charlotte Dawson has spoken out about the cyber bullying which led to her hospitalisation last week.
In an interview with Australia’s 60 Minutes, the Sydney-based celebrity said she feared for her own safety.
“I’ve never had death threats to this ferocity; I’ve never had a campaign to this ferocity. My tweets are usually about how old I am, how ugly I am or how I failed at my marriage, or how I can’t have children or how I’m a spinster, or how I’m plastic. It’s usually appearance stuff,” she said.
Ms Dawson also took the opportunity to respond to those claiming her suicide attempt was a ‘publicity attempt’.
“I was very drunk. I was extremely distraught, it just triggered that feeling of helplessness, it got to me, that got the better of me and they won,” she said.
“You do have to have a thick skin, and you do understand that no matter what you do, even if you are Mother Theresa, people are still going to hate you because they think you’re ugly or don’t like the sound of your voice. Sometimes, especially if people are wanting you to kill yourself, when you have previously tried to end your life, it’s very easy to feel like that’s exactly what you want to do.”
Melbourne's Monash University has suspended a staff member who joined the online vitriol, after they tweeted Ms Dawson saying "on behalf of NZ we would like you to please go hang yourself".
Dawson says these sorts of behaviours need to change.
“People need to be extremely responsible, if they can be when they are online,” she said.
“I think people diminish what bullying is. Bullying is extremely threatening behaviour that is constant and makes people feel threatened and terrified. I can’t think of anyone I have done that to.”
She says the words of her online bullies may come back to haunt them.
“People can be traced. I have contacted the police and had lengthy discussions with them today. They are using devices, mobile devices, iPads, computers in order to vilify and intimidate so there are consequences.”