Brittany Higgins has revealed the relentless trolling and online abuse she and her partner have experienced, sharing some of the toxic comments she’s been subjected to.
Higgins also clarified receiving this “relentless” online abuse on Twitter was the reason she decided to take a break from the social media platform.
“Just to clarify: David and I both decided to suspend our Twitter accounts for some peace of mind from the current toxic online environment and relentless trolling,” she wrote on Instagram.
Higgins posted a compilation of the abuse she has been subjected to, writing: “It’s this type of relentless abuse that drove us from the platform”.
“Just another woman chasing more Instagram followers,” one user wrote.
“Certainly paints a picture of an irresponsible, promiscuous drunk,” another wrote.
“I thought she was call girl judging from the pic…oh no my bad,” said another.
Recent research from the Office of eSafety showed that online abuse of women is rife in Australia.
The report, called Women in the Spotlight: Women’s experiences with online abuse in their working lives, found 1 in 3 professional women had experienced some form of online abuse that was most often gendered in nature.
It also showed that women with a publicly visible online or media profile, who are younger (18 to 34 years old), have a disability or who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex or queer, are more likely to receive online abuse.
“The report shows this targeted abuse has a severe impact on women’s mental health, causes reputational damage and can have devastating consequences for their careers,” eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant said when the report was released.
“As this research demonstrates, many women are taking a backwards step professionally, will avoid stepping into leadership positions that require an online presence and have ceased discussing topics online they feel might come across as opinionated or inflammatory.
“They retreat from online spaces and are no longer able to harness the power of the internet to further their reach or their work.”