The Inbetweeners Star Emily Atack Says She Was ‘Followed Home’ At Night By Man Who Sexually Harassed Her
Emily Atack has recalled her experiences of sexual harassment both online and offline, including an incident where she was followed home by a man at night.
The Inbetweeners star appeared on UNILAD’s latest episode of Minutes With, where she spoke about auditioning for the beloved show before explaining her subsequent and vast experiences of abuse.
While the video was actually filmed three weeks ago and scheduled for later this year, we believed it to be pertinent to the ongoing national conversation. With Emily’s permission, we have decided to release it now with the hope of contributing to further discussion.
You can watch the full interview with Emily below:
We asked Emily about receiving unwanted sexual comments online, to which she explained, ‘What I’ve really noticed is that I’m so used to having men hurling abuse at me in the street, or in a bar… what I’ve been interested to see in the last decade, I guess, where social media is the biggest it’s ever been, the online abuse and sexual harassment is just out of control.’
She continued, ‘For some reason there’s this blind spot where if it’s online, you don’t receive any consequence at all.’
On a daily basis, Emily said she receives hundreds of unsolicited messages. One read, ‘Let daddy make you cum, like the filthy sl*t you are. Let me impregnate you, you filthy cum wh*re. I know that you’re a filthy cum sl*t. I know what you like.’
She said, ‘I worked out the other day – before 10am, I’d seen three penises that I hadn’t asked to see… if I’d walked out into the street to get a coffee and three men had flashed me on the way, I’d be in pieces, I’d be traumatised. But there is honestly something about when it’s online, and I hate to admit this, I’ve become so used to it. I just kind of go… oh for f*ck sake, ugh.’
Emily continued, ‘I think as well, because I’ve always been known as like a Charlotte Big Jugs girl, I’m the fun party girl, I’m blonde, I’ve got boobs, I’m an outrageous flirt… what frightens me is that is the persona that I’ve always put out there to people.’
She explained, ‘So it’s people saying to me… um, I know that’s what you’re like, so that’s why I’m gonna say this to you.’
Emily said it makes her ’embarrassed’ because ‘it makes me go… well this entire time I’ve posed in my underwear in lads mags and I’ve written sketch shows about my one-night stands and laughed about it… you can’t help, there’s a little thing in your mind going – and I hate myself saying it – but you go… what do you expect, Em? And I go… oh my god, why am I thinking that?’
She said, ‘The horrible thing about it is that nobody is around to kind of go… oi, don’t f*cking do that, that’s horrific. They’re allowed to just do it, and I’m subjected to it on my own, in my home. I don’t have a partner, I’m by myself, and it does make me feel scared to live on my own. I’ve had people messaging me knowing that I live on my own, saying they’re outside with a telescope and they know what my cushions look like on my sofa.’
Emily then recalled, ‘Recently, a guy actually followed me home. It was when we were allowed to go to the pub again. I was walking home from the pub, and it wasn’t even that late, it was about 9pm or something, so it’s dark.’
He rode up next to her on his bike, saying he recognised her as Emily just tried to walk on. He started saying things like, ‘I know what you like, I know what sort of girl you are.’
She said, ‘That was physically in the flesh and I ran indoors and I was so upset and frightened. So it’s that, I have that man on the bike in my ear, but just constantly online. It starts to chip away at you.’
Towards the end of the interview, Emily said, ‘I remember when I wrote my sketch show, which I’m so proud of, it’s the best thing I’ve ever done in my life, and you know I’m a sexually liberated woman, I stand up there and talk about all these things.’
She continued, ‘The reason why I’m doing that is I’m trying to take ownership again of my sexuality, because men my entire life have commented on my body, my boobs… this is my way of taking back all that control… it really does feel like I’m kicking every single guy in the bollocks that’s ever, ever said anything along those lines to me.’
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