Feminist campaigner still getting 'general sexist abuse' on Twitter

Feminist campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez has revealed she is still being subjected to sexist online abuse on a daily basis.

Feminist campaigner still getting 'general sexist abuse' on Twitter

Feminist campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez has revealed she is still being subjected to sexist online abuse on a daily basis.

The journalist, who hit the headlines in the UK in July after receiving a torrent of death and rape threats on Twitter, said she found the daily abuse “wearing”.

She spoke at a conference in London showing how online abuse had become a central plank of campaigns of domestic abuse against women.

“The threats have more or less stopped, they only come through very occasionally now,” she said.

“What I more get is more general sexist abuse because now I’m sort of a lightning rod for it.

“I’m the person people think of when they think ’right, I want to go and abuse a woman, there’s a woman who is really famous for being abused, I’ll do that’.

“I get that in a daily basis now and obviously it is really wearing.”

Ms Criado-Perez, from north London, was hit with a barrage of abuse after leading a successful campaign to get a woman onto the UK's new £10 banknote.

Several other high profile women including the eminent historian Mary Beard also reported threats in the wake of the publicity generated.

Twitter has since introduced a “report tweet” option for users who are sent abusive messages following a campaign by a number of women who were targeted on the site.

Ms Criado-Perez spoke ahead of a keynote speech at the Cyber Stalking and Harassment Conference in Bloomsbury.

The conference was organised by Women’s Aid, which warned social media and associated technology provides perpetrators of domestic violence with “an extra tool to threaten, control and humiliate”.

Ms Criado-Perez said there were links between what she suffered at the hands Twitter trolls and the online abuse and threats carried out as part of a pattern of domestic violence.

“It’s part of the kind sort of culture that thinks that threatening women through threats of sexual violence and silencing them in that way, that’s something acceptable to do,” she said.

“Another thing that is linked is that with domestic violence (is) so many people ask ’why does she stay, why does she put up with it?’

“The same sort of thing was happening to me when I was being abused online, people were saying to get off Twitter, don’t feed the trolls.

“It’s about this way we focus on the behaviour of the victim and police their behaviour rather than looking at why certain men are acting in this way towards women.

“We don’t need women to change their behaviour so they don’t provoke this behaviour, we need this behaviour to stop.”

Polly Neate, chief executive of Women's Aid, said the growth of online communications had created "a whole new world of ways to attack victims''.

She said it could range from threatening emails to using social media to trace women, set up websites to post abusive messages, ungrounded rumours or post private pictures and information in a repeated pattern.

“Domestic violence is about control and if you can control somebody online you can track where they are at all times, you can confuse them, you can send them bullying messages, you can intimidate them, you can use their children to get at them online even,” she said.

“We have found that this is now a standard part of the domestic abuse perpetrator’s repertoire.

“It is really important that we know that because it means we must take online bullying seriously – it is real and what is an offence offline is an offence online.”

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