Managing the impact
No one should have to experience online abuse, but the reality is that many women do.
Knowing the most effective ways to respond can help you manage the impact and build your resilience.
The approach you choose will depend on your situation at any given time. Taking action is an important option. But it's also important to take care of your psychological and emotional wellbeing.
Tips for protecting your wellbeing
Remember your strengths
Don’t let the opinions of others define your self-worth. Remind yourself of your best qualities and attributes.
Pause and reflect
Online abuse can be overwhelming. Give yourself space and time so that you respond rather than react.
While the situation may seem challenging in the moment, remember to focus on the big picture and your main priorities in life
Acknowledge your feelings
You are allowed to be upset. But try not to deplete your emotional strength by defending yourself against every unwarranted attack. Question whether it's worth your time and energy.
Surround yourself with supportive people
You don’t need to handle this on your own. Talk with family, friends, peers and mentors who may be best placed to help. Consider whether a counselling or support service might be helpful.
Be kind to yourself
It can be helpful to practise self-care through leisure, exercise, good nutrition, adequate sleep, meditation and other relaxation techniques.
Create a safe space offline
Go for a walk, catch up with a friend or read a book. Consider turning off notifications at night or during periods when you want to disconnect.
Emotional reactions can feed the trolls. Don’t be afraid to respond to negative comments with a positive attitude. You can set the standard for positive online behaviour by communicating with respect, tolerance and empathy.
Clarify your thoughts and be informed about issues so that you are better prepared to take part in online discussions.
Be confident and assertive
Don't be afraid to advocate for your work and opinions online. Stay true to your character and your sense of right and wrong.
Be a role model
You can gain a sense of purpose by knowing that you are contributing to an improved online world for other women.
Support other women
You can help other women when they experience abuse online by speaking up if it's safe to do so or by showing other forms of support.