It is coming up to my four-year anniversary of the catalyst for my online abuse. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve dealt with nasty indirect comments in school etc. as I’m sure most of you have. However, having my unfortunate 15 minutes of fame brought along a wave of abuse which has been pretty consistent for the past four years. I am sure some of you are surprised – but some people are really passionate about these events. And some people really hate me…
I posted this comment on my Instagram story not long ago now which was a comment copied and pasted by this stranger to all my previous blogposts. Not to my surprise, everyone was shocked. Thank you for all the lovely and kind messages but this was not a one off for me. No one knew that this has been part of my life for the last 4 years and I think it is time to raise awareness to this issue. Not to give the misogynistic keyboard warriors attention but to realise this isn’t ok and people shouldn’t have to suffer with this in silence.
To be totally honest, it took me the longest time to realise this was not ok. I thought I absolutely deserved it. Isn’t that stupid?
I hope no one ever feels this way. You do not deserve for people who have never met you or even heard your voice to make you feel any less valuable.
There are all different types of online abuse – sexualisation, death threats, rape threats, misogyny, bullying etc.
Yes, my situation was pretty unique. The power imbalance caused me to be attacked due the social hierarchy to which makes women feel a lot less valuable. But I believe these tips to dealing with online abuse can help you whatever situation you have seen or become a part of. Whether it is school drama or a viral trend.
- Remember online abuse is serious
I always told myself it didn’t affect me or that I couldn’t do anything about what was happening. But these people are often breaking laws and can be reported. If you do not feel comfortable doing that, talk to someone. I spoke to teachers, lecturers and my friends. A problem shared might not be a problem halved but it definitely makes you feel a lot lighter.
- These people often do NOT know you
Depending on your situation, the abusers often have never met you or taken the time to get to know you and their opinions are invalid.
- What are they going through?
Obviously, these people are not happy within themselves and project their unhappiness onto others. Imagine sitting behind a screen typing hate comments. I can’t. So therefore, they must use this time to distract themselves from their own emotions in their own lives.
- Surround yourself with positive people
If anyone you know encourages this abusive behaviour they are not worth your time. Surround yourself with people who make you feel like your best self and don’t be afraid to not be ok with the way people are treating you.
5. YOU DO NOT DESERVE THIS
If I could get you to listen to anything it would be this. No matter what you have/haven’t done no one deserves to be attack from, what feels like, within your own home. Report the comments. The internet is not the safest place to say the least and therefore to feel safer you must take these actions. If the abuse is serious, contact the police. They do have the technology to help you out as much as possible. If you are at university/school or another institution – they often have media teams that can inform you with privacy and safety. You do not need to suffer alone.
I hope this post shed some light on the issue and perhaps even helped someone out.
However, if you are suffering with this problem, here are some sites that can give much better advice than I ever could: