Emily Atack: actress fears being ‘raped and killed’ after years of enduring online sexual harassment

The Inbetweeners actress has been receiving hundreds of graphic messages since her teens

Emily Atack revealed that she has been living in fear of being “raped and killed” after suffering endless sexual harrasment online since her teens.

The Inbetweeners actress, 33, from Luton, explained to the Radio Times how the hundreds of “graphic” unsolicited messages that she receives has impacted her life ahead of the release of BBC Two documentary Emily Atack: Asking For It?.

She admitted that the abusive messages left her “terrified” and fearing for her life while living on her own.

“The second I hear a bump in the night I go, "Oh, that’s it. I’m about to be raped and killed". I’m scared of being physically alone a lot of the time,” Emily said.

Emily, who explores the reasons behind the online abuse in her new documentary, explained that those on the receiving end of the messages can begin to blame themselves for what’s being sent.

She said: “You go, "Is it me? Is it what I wear, how I put myself out there? Is it because I talk about sex in my show, because I’m flirtatious, I’m single, I’m on my own?

“And before you know it, you’re just splattered at the bottom of this staircase, blaming yourself. You’re incredibly troubled and saddened and questioning who you are as a person.”

The TV presenter recently joined Fearne Cotton on the Happy Place podcast, where Fearne revealed she has also received unwanted attention from men.

Fearne explained how she was once out with her husband when men working on scaffolding shouted sexual abuse towards her and she made a decision to call their boss to report the incident.

She said the main perpetrator phoned for a chat and left her hopeful that he won’t make women feel “scared” or “angry” in the future.

Emily told Fearne that men are verbally abusive to women to gain a sense of “power and control” as she argued men need to understand the repercussions of their actions.

The actress revealed some men block her and go silent when confronted online, while others justify their actions by stating that she has spoken about her sex life publicly and has posed in lads’ magazines.

“Look at it like this, would you have your daughters spoken to or treated like that? No you wouldn’t. Whether you have a daughter or not, imagine having a daughter, or a niece, or a sister or mother. You would not want that for the women in your life,” Emily said.

Emily Atack (Getty Images)

Emily explained the impact of online sexual harassment has left her feeling vulnerable and the treatment of men influences how she views herself. She added that being on your own as a singleton isn’t always empowering and it can be frustrating constantly being told to focus on loving yourself.

Emily said: “I have good days and bad days, days where I wake up and I feel like I can conquer anything and go f*** you. I’m going to be who I want to be and I feel strong, a strong independent woman.

“But there are some days where I wake up and I go “I don’t know if I can take this.” It’s not just sexual harassment.

“Sexual harassment, especially if has been ingrained into you since you were a child has terrible repercussions on your mental health and brain.

“Over the years I have therapy and I do everything I can. What I’ve discovered as an adult is that all my mental health problems - it narrows down to the one thing which is how I’ve been treated by men in my life.

“That is where all my struggles come from - self doubt, shame, paranoia and desperate seeking of validation in this life...”

“It’s something I feel like I have a real good handle on and then sometimes I can’t bear it and I feel abnormal. I feel all the things that these horrible men want me to feel somedays - worthless, not classy and shameful. It’s something I’ll continue to work on.”