What is vilification?

Vilification is a public act that could incite hatred, serious contempt or ridicule towards a group of people who have a particular characteristic. It is against the law to vilify people on the basis of race, homosexuality, transgender status and HIV/AIDS status.

Public acts include:

  • communications that can be seen or heard by the public (this includes print, radio, video or online)
  • signs, flags or clothing  that could be seen by the public
  • distributing and sharing information to the public.

Public acts that threaten or incite violence

A public act that threatens or incites violence towards a group of people on the basis of race, religious belief or affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex status or HIV/AIDS status is a criminal offence that should be referred to the police.

What can I do if I experience vilification?

If you are unsure if you have experienced vilification or if you need more information, you can contact our enquiry service.

If you feel you have experienced vilification, you can contact us to make a complaint. To lodge a complaint of vilification, you must have the characteristic or be from the group that you think has been vilified.

If you have witnessed or experienced a public act that threatens or incites violence, this is a crime and you should contact the police.

​Do you have a question about vilification?

Contact our enquiry service.