ctress Emily Atack has revealed she is subjected to “relentless and disgusting” rape threats online that have led her to call the police.
The Inbetweeners star, 32, who has 1.8 million followers on Instagram, said she is bombarded by around 200 harassing messages on social media a day, including those that threaten her safety.
She said the threats lead her to “question her entire existence at times” and has called for social media companies to clamp down on explicit comments online.
The former I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here star said she has had to move home four times in the wake of targeted abuse, telling The Sun On Sunday: “They knew where I lived, said what they were going to do to me, even my family.
“I got the police involved.”
The actress, who has been praised in recent years for her campaign against cyber-bullying, said :”I’ve had people commenting on my body, my face, my hair, calling me fat, an untalented piece of s***, annoying, whatever, my whole life.
“I’ve developed quite a thick skin. But when I started getting actual rape threats, and felt my safety was in jeopardy, it became too much.’
She added there is one man who creates new accounts every time she blocks him, telling the paper: “He’s relentless and disgusting – beyond anything you can imagine. Yet he says he’s a married man with children.”
She added: “He sends rape threats, says what he wants to do to me while his wife is in the room, and sends messages saying his children are downstairs in their playroom while he’s pleasuring himself over me.
“These men are exposing themselves to me, doing this, in a more private way, in my direct messages, where I can’t avoid it. It feels shameful.
“It has made me question my entire existence at times, and how men see me.”
Attack says she is now calling on social media companies to clamp down on such behavior online to protect women.
“It is assault and abuse.
“I should have the right to be able to go in there (to her DMs) safely,” she said.
“More needs to be done to protect women.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.