Sexual Harassment: Celebrity Emily Atack Complains Men Send Her Hundreds Of Explicit Photos Every Day, So What’s The Story?
- Lucie Wallis
British TV star Emily Atack says she is sent hundreds of explicit pictures and messages every day, leading her to wonder why men are doing this and what can be done to stop them?
Every morning Emily wakes up against her will with a picture of a naked man.
The 33-year-old actress and presenter looks at pictures of men undressing her online hundreds of times a day.
“It’s an absolute lack of naughtiness,” she says. “It’s naughty, what a feeling it is to be promiscuous all the time.”
Emily, who has been preparing a BBC documentary on the subject, complains about explicit messages reaching her accounts via social media for years, but the number of messages has doubled and her scandalous tone has been amplified during the lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus virus, and the messages became more sexually aggressive.
“I felt as if[die Botschaften und Bilder]surrounded me and slowly weakened me,” she says.
Emily was 17 when she starred as Charlotte Hinchcliffe in a comedy called The Inbetweeners, which won audiences admiration.
“The girl was popular at school,” says Emily. “The problem is, well, she’s a fictional character, but people obviously associate you with the characters you play.”
A sense of regret
Emily says she noticed the unwanted attention of some men from a young age. In an attempt to protect her, people close to her would suggest that she change her behavior, such as not wearing makeup or wearing a skirt to school.
“It was out of control, and the only way you could control it was to change… So I started looking inside. All my life I have blamed myself for this.”
This regret haunted Emily for many years.
She says: “I felt bad posting all of this just because I post pictures in bikinis on Instagram, I talk about sex on my shows… but we’re going to make people say, ‘But then it’s you Reason for this negative attention what do you expect?'”
Emily has always used humor to punctuate news, but she says it’s not funny anymore.
“If you really look at how serious it is for young girls to get messages like this on Instagram, what if it happens to be your daughter or niece? It’s a serious discussion when we stop laughing,” she says.
And studies conducted in 2020 found that 76 percent of girls between the ages of 12 and 18 were sent unsolicited pictures of young men or naked men.
Speaking to some high school girls, Emily was shocked to learn that they had all experienced receiving sexually explicit messages online.
“What shocked me the most was that I thought girls at school would talk about boys not controlling themselves and their phones, but it was the older men online who were harassing these girls,” she says .
“Why do they do that؟“
Emily made a post on her social media asking men who text her explicitly to explain why they do it.
She says: “I’ve checked my email and no one has replied. These guys spend their lives bothering me and saying the ugliest things, and then I answer them the second time and I’m like, ‘Okay, I want to hear from you, let’s talk,’ I don’t get an answer from anyone.” “.
And she adds: “What happened is that a large number of women came forward and talked about what they should have done in this situation.”
Emily says she never spoke to her parents about the online harassment, but her mother, comedian Kate Robbins, is very upset when she is shown a sample of the harassment. She says she is concerned about the psychological impact on her daughter and her physical safety.
Although the letters are sent by different men, Emily’s father, Keith, notes that it appears as if the same person is sending them.
To find out more about the characteristics of these people, Emily contacted two men who regularly sent her explicit messages and asked them why. One of them immediately blocked Emily after reading her letter, while the other blamed her, saying he was trying to get her attention and that his messages were because of her “fame”.
Emily spoke to Jamie Klingler, co-founder of Reclaim This Street, to understand the mentality of these men.
Jamie first received explicit images and threats of rape and death online after organizing a vigil following the murder of Sarah Everard.
“It’s not about what we wear, it’s not about what we do,” she says. “It’s about their desire to silence you and control you and their desire to have a power that makes you feel like you have a piece of yourself.”
A study by Jane Monckton-Smith focusing on homicide prevention suggests that patterns of violence against women escalate from seemingly minor to serious sexual assault. For this reason, the researcher recommends that you always report any online harassment to the police to register the person’s name.
Emily reported the online harassment to the police and was unexpectedly very upset when she described the harassment.
A police officer said the men could be traced if others reported harassment and could take action if the behavior included an element of stalking.
After the cops left, Emily was at odds over whether she really wanted to arrest anyone.
“I want them to just admit what they did was wrong so I can let it go,” she says.
In 2021, Emily gave a speech to the UK Parliament, presenting her experiences and exposure to harassment, addressing the Online Safety Bill and declaring online nudity a crime with a maximum penalty of two years in prison.
MPs approved the bill last week and it will now go to the House of Lords.
And while Emily has campaigned for it, she now wonders if changing the law alone is the answer.
Online safety activist Syi Akiwo says that while the law can help, education plays an important role, as do changing societal norms.
“We really need to take a step back (where is this tide coming from?). It’s really about changing the behavior of men. To help them understand what a healthy relationship is.”
Andrea Simon, director of End Violence Against Women, agrees that society needs to stop blaming women.
“Everything focuses on women and their behavior and that’s a big thing that needs to change,” she adds.
Emily says dealing with online harassment was one of the hardest things she’s ever done, and she went through therapy throughout the task because it involved revisiting past trauma.
“I will not change what I do because I am sexually harassed all the time. It’s not our behavior that needs to change, it’s theirs.”
“I would never blame myself,” she says.
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