Jessica Valenti, a Brooklyn-based columnist and New York Times best-selling author, is accustomed to online abuse, but what she experienced on Wednesday was unprecedented. She is the author of six books, including her most recent memoir, "Sex Object."
As a prominent voice in the feminist community, Valenti subjects herself daily to cyber threats from trolls and sexual harassment from perverts.
On Wednesday morning, however, she woke up to an online nightmare. An anonymous stalker had threatened to rape and kill her five-year-old daughter.
She tweeted, “This morning I woke up to a rape and death threat directed at my 5-year-old daughter. That this is part of my work life is unacceptable.”
In a short series of tweets, Valenti showed her disgust at the lax way Internet threats and harassment are handled by law enforcement. She wrote that she is going to stop using Twitter for a while, but left her account open.
Valenti said that she would withstand threats of death and rape targeted at herself, but she wisely must draw the line when her young child becomes a victim as well.
The online community rallied around Valenti for support in her decision to abandon her social media account, just as she deserved.
While Valenti is not alone in her struggle for justice against online trolls, it is unfortunate that online sexual harassment is still rarely considered punishable by law. That women are continuously subjugated to harassment based on their gender is deplorable.
I am sick of this shit. Sick of saying over and over how scary this is, sick of being told to suck it up.— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) July 27, 2016
I should not have to fear for my kid's safety because I write about feminism.— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) July 27, 2016
I should not have to wade through horror to get through the day. None of should have to.— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) July 27, 2016
I can deal with a lot of things, I've taken a lot of abuse over the years. But my child? No.— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) July 27, 2016
Law enforcement needs to get their shit together on online threats. Social media companies need to fucking do something.— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) July 27, 2016
In the meantime, I'm taking a break from social media. I don't know how long. I just know that I can't live like this. It's too much.— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) July 27, 2016
Photo credit: Twitter, @JessicaValenti