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Online abuse and sexual harassment is out of control, says Emily Atack

Emily Atack (Ian West/PA)
Emily Atack (Ian West/PA)

Emily Atack has said online abuse and sexual harassment is “completely out of control”.

The actress, 31, told Unilad she is regularly sent sexually explicit messages and pictures on social media.

“What I’ve really noticed is that I’m so used to having men hurling abuse at me in the street, or in a bar, I’m so used to that, I’ve had it my whole life,” she told the website.

Virgin Media BAFTA TV Awards 2020 – Arrivals – London
(Dominic Lipinski/PA)

“What I’ve been interested to see in the last, kind of the last decade, I guess, where social media is the biggest it’s ever been, the online abuse and the sexual harassment is just out of control, it’s completely out of control.

“For some reason, there’s this blind spot where if it’s online, you don’t receive any consequence at all.”

She added: “I worked out the other day, before 10am, I’d seen three penises that I hadn’t asked to see, three cock shots that had been sent through.

“If I’d walked out into the street to get a coffee and three men had flashed me on the way, I’d be in pieces, I’d be traumatised, but there is honestly something about when it’s online, and I hate to admit this, I’ve become so used to it, I just kinda go, ‘Oh for f***’s sake, ah, god, urgh’.”

National Television Awards 2019 – Arrivals – London
(Ian West/PA)

The Inbetweeners star said she checks the profiles of those who send her explicit messages “to see what sort of person” they are.

“Sometimes it’s completely anonymous, no photo, and they’ve obviously just created an account to just say all these awful things to God knows how many poor women,” she said.

“It goes from teenage boys, to middle-aged men, to really old men, old single men that are probably desperately lonely, and older men who are married with children, and they have daughters in their profile pictures.”

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