When you consider that a woman is called a sl*t or a wh*re on Twitter every 10 seconds, the problem of tackling online abuse, particularly of the gendered variety, seems pretty overwhelming.
But a group of young women from Sydney are doing just that – and winning.
If you haven’t been following the story of “That Tinder Girl“, it goes something like this: In August last year Olivia Melville, 25, became the victim of violent abuse and threats online after a screenshot of her Tinder profile was posted to Facebook by someone she didn’t know.
Her profile featured a picture of her with friends and a fairly innocuous line from a popular Drake song (“Type of girl that will suck you dry and then eat some lunch with you.”), which the stranger saw as grounds to publicly shame her.
She was called a slut, mocked about her weight, threatened with rape; all while repeatedly being told it was her fault.
One man, 25-year-old Zane Alchin, was particularly relentless, which led Olivia’s friend Paloma Brierley Newton to step in.
Paloma Brierley Newton. Source: Facebook
Her response was two-fold.
First, she penned a blistering Facebook post calling out the unremitting abuse. Then, she went to the police station.
"I didn’t know it was illegal at the time but I knew it had to be," she told Mamamia.
"Instead of just writing something and being angry ... Not just be another person being angry on the Internet."
Paloma's original Facebook post:
Not satisfied with the response she received from the police (who had no training dealing with cyber-crime), Paloma went to the media, heading up a group of like-minded young women, Sexual Violence Won't Be Silenced.