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What is discrimination?

Discrimination is treating someone unfairly because of certain characteristics. You may be asking, what sort of stuff could this be? Well, it could be anything, such as...

  • Race

  • Gender

  • Age

  • Sexuality

  • Disability

  • Religion

  • Socioeconomic status

  • Physical features

  • Political beliefs

Although not everyone might know about it, discrimination doesn’t just happen in real life, it can also happen online too!

Sadly, it can impact a person’s wellbeing and mental health, as well as make them feel uneasy and unwilling to go to places they may have been discriminated in i.e. a school, workplace, or household. You may feel like you're being discriminated against but don't know what to do, so read on, and remember we're here to help. 

How to spot discrimination:

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There are different sorts of discrimination that you may see or experience:


Direct discrimination:

Direct discrimination is mistreating someone because of a personal characteristic. It often occurs when unrealistic or unfair assumptions are made about what people with certain personal characteristics can and cannot do.

For example, directly excluding a certain ethnic group from a Facebook group.


Indirect discrimination:

Indirect discrimination occurs when an unreasonable condition is put in place that puts a particular group at a disadvantage. 

This type of discrimination may not be intentional, however, it is still unfair.

For example, having written content only embedded into an image, which means people using screen readers cannot register the text. 

How to address discrimination:

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This is always a tough situation and there isn’t always a ‘correct’ way of responding, but, there are some things you can do:

  • Being direct or confrontational. In this method you can directly call the person out and tell them something like: “Hey, this isn’t okay!”.

  • Privately message the person doing the discrimination and talk to them about it's impact and what could be done different.

  • Delegate; that is, getting someone else involved in the situation. You can’t be expected to do everything by yourself, it’s okay to get help!

  • Reach out to the person or group being discriminated against (if you feel comfortable to do so) to check in on them and how they feel.

  • If it is you who is being discriminated against, you might want to reach out to someone you trust and get some support. If you're not sure who to talk to, there's some numbers down below that can be a good place to start.

  • Report it, and if you want you can block the individual or group doing the discriminating.

Always ensure your own safety first. Do not risk your wellbeing - physical and mental - if it can be helped. It is important to remember that although it is a good deed to help someone else, or confront a discrimination situation facing you, you do not have to do so if it isn't safe. Reach out for some supports below. 

Where to go for support?

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There are many resources you can access for support!



This information page was created by the Maroondah Youth Wellbeing Advocates 2019.