Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Tweets 'imprinted' on victim's mind

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Latest courts news

A high profile feminist who was abused online for spearheading a campaign to ensure women featured on British bank notes has said the attacks are "imprinted" on her mind.

Caroline Criado-Perez was subjected to a torrent of abuse after her campaign met success when the Bank of England announced on July 24 that novelist Jane Austen would appear on a bank note in the future.

Two people today pleaded admitted using Twitter to send her insults such as "f*** off and die you worthless piece of crap", "go kill yourself" and "rape is the last of your worries".

Speaking after their court hearing, the 29-year-old student told BBC Radio 4's PM programme of her fear that the "completely relentless" abuse was never going to stop.

She said: "I am not actually free from them in my mind, they are still there - I could quote to you so many of the tweets that I was sent.

"I don't need to look at a computer to remind myself, they are imprinted on my mind and I don't think I will ever be free from them.

"When the abuse was being sent I really thought it was never going to end and that was horrifying."

John Nimmo, 25, and Isabella Sorley, 23, both admitted sending abusive tweets to Ms Criado-Perez at Westminster Magistrates' Court and are due to be sentenced on January 24.

Asked how she felt about one of her attackers being a woman, she said: "I think it is really sad but on the other hand I don't see why we should think that women who are brought up in a society steeped in misogyny should be any less affected by it and any less likely to hate women.

"I see all abuse that I was sent as misogynistic in nature and I don't think it is any secret that women can be sexist and misogynistic too.

"It's just sadder to see really because it means that they hate themselves."

Ms Criado-Perez also said that she hoped Nimmo and Sorley's convictions would act as a deterrent to prevent further online abuse against women and encourage victims to come forward.

"I am aware - despite the way that I feel that this is such a small drop in the ocean of the abuse that I received - how lucky I am in comparison to all the other women who have received similar types of abuse and haven't seen any kind of justice at all," she added.

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