Emily Atack has said she is subjected to “relentless and disgusting” rape threats online that have led her to call the police and “question her entire existence at times”.
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.
Atack 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.”
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.”
Atack says she is now calling on social media companies to clamp down on explicit comments online.
“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.”
If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can call the national 24-hour Rape Crisis Helpline at 1800 77 8888, access text service and webchat options at drcc.ie/services/helpline/, or visit Rape Crisis Help.
In the case of an emergency, always dial 999/112.