RENOWNED Fijian author Amitesh Deo, known for his publication Amma, says cyber threats targeted towards aspiring politician and feminist Roshika Deo is sad and distressing.
Deo said the modern day social networking sites had opened the door to other ways of conducting demeaning acts.
"While working on a project recently I met a 13-year-old little girl. She showed signs of acute depression and upon closer inspection, I was shocked to find she was indulging in self-harm," he claimed.
"After a few counselling sessions, I found that she was in fact suffering from constant abuse and teasing through a social networking site. It started with a silly name-calling and extended to graphics and other humiliating jokes. Even though the young girl had stopped viewing the sites for a period, the abuse and jokes continued and were relayed to her by other friends."
Deo said such abuses and threats needed to be taken seriously for two reasons.
"One, there are likelihoods that the threats could become a reality.
"With the number of abuse and rape cases we record in this country, it is about time that we realise that we live amongst some very strange people with difficult personalities.
"Second, it can put enormous stress on the person receiving such threats.
"Threats like "killed, cooked and buried" would not be really for any mind to deal with.
"To make it worse, if threats or abuse are about a person's looks and disability , it can be very disturbing. I do hope that the law enforcement agencies are able to provide assistance to Ms (Roshika) Deo as well as other similar cases."