Pernah tak you all dapat dodgy sexual message dari stranger or someone you even considered a friend, and when you open it …. Eww it’s a picture of their genitals?
Or pernah dapat sexual and dodgy comments under your social media pictures that sound like this:
Aqilah sendiri pun pernah dapat, so I’m sure some form of online harassment is familiar to you jugak, kan? I can see y’all virtually nodding in agreement with me…😞
Some people would say “Oh online je pun” but it does not make it any less serious than real life sexual harassment. One is not more ‘IRL’ than the other. So kalau korang dapat those dodgy messages, it doesn’t mean the abuse against you is ‘less real’ and ‘less scary’ than a physical one.
Ok Aqilah.. I think I got a dodgy sexual message.😭 I feel ill, upset, scared and disgusted. Now what?
Before we do anything, first we keep calm. Take 3 deep breaths. I gotchu, girl.
8 Things to Do When You Get a Dodgy Sexual Message:
1. It’s not you, it’s them
You need to realise that their message has nothing to do with the way you are, tapi it’s a reflection of how they are. Thought it was something you said, implied or even the way you dressed? Nah, think again. Repeat after me: It does not define you!
2. No means NO
It’s shocking when a dodgy sexual message comes from someone you consider a friend or someone you trust. Regardless, you shouldn’t be afraid to tell them no. Let them know your boundaries and describe how it makes you feel. Be straightforward and bagitau diorang how you want to be treated from now on. But that doesn’t mean we have to be rude! Don’t insult or engage in similar behavior, instead kita boleh tegur cara baik, contohnya: “Adam, I know you tak berniat jahat but I feel uncomfortable bila you puji-puji macam ni.”
3. Get to safety
Your safe places are both online and offline. And if you are being doxed, consider doing this:
- Report the comment as well as user
- Block the user
- Turn off your location tracking
- Make your account private
- Quickly get to a safe (physical) place
- Inform people you trust what’s going on.
4. Assess and name the situation
It can be scary not knowing who’s behind the comment, what their intentions and capabilities are and to gauge how serious your reaction should be, Aqilah faham. But assessing the situation helps you understand the severity of the situation you’re in, makes it easier to make a report and zero down on what action(s) you should be taking next. Guna guide 5W’s ni:
- Who’s the bad actor? Ex-partner? Follower?
- Which category of harassment does it fall under? Trolling? Stalking? Making sexual jokes? Gender-based abuse? Sending nudes?
- What medium of harassment was used? Image? Comment?
- Where did it occur? Personal Instagram DMs? A public Facebook page? TikTok? Whatsapp? Email?
- What harm did it cause you? Anxiety? Trauma? Depression?
5. Keep receipts
Kinda leceh, but terpaling important! Document every single thing from timestamps to user handles. Remember this is the internet, anything can be deleted in a second. So make sure you make use of that screenshot function. Keep receipts of-
- Timestamp (Date and time)
- Evidence that it happened. (Screenshot of messages or account, telephone number, address, links and pictures)
- Evidence you have of who might have done it
- User handle, URL, and any context about the incident or why you’re concerned
6. Report, report, report!
Report and block the person! Korang kena prioritise your safety. However, sometimes online platforms don’t cater untuk Malaysians and their “creative” word play so they won’t consider it as harassment! Oh no! Jangan risau, Aqilah dah prepare a list of contacts for you guys to report those dodgy sexual messages.
a) Communications & Multimedia Content Forum of Malaysia
• Content Forum Online Complaint Form
• Tel: 1800-882-623
b) Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC)
• MCMC Online Complaint Form
• Hotline: 1800-188-030
• WhatsApp: 016-220 6262
Or you can also find out more helpful ways to report at Lapor Predator.
7. Seek solace and support
Online sexual harassment can be too overwhelming to deal with alone. It can take a huge toll on your mental wellbeing, terutamanya when you start victim-blaming, even if the victim is yourself. As soon as you can, seek comfort in the people you love and trust; and jangan rasa segan to ask for help! Here are some Mental Health helplines korang boleh guna to help you go through this matter.
- Ministry of Health HEAL hotline: 15555
- Befrienders 24/7: 03-76272929
8. Take a break or step away
If you feel like you’re spiralling or that social media is no longer a safe space for you, take a break. For starters, deactivate your accounts and delete the apps if you can afford to. Since the notifications may cause anxiety and trigger you, Aqilah recommend sangat you go on a social media hiatus. I’ve done it and it felt so liberating!
Anyone can receive sexual dodgy messages. Nobody is exempt.
Siapa-siapa pun boleh jadi mangsa gangguan seksual atas talian.
For those of you dealing with online sexual harassment, Aqilah nak bagitahu that you are invaluable, strong, precious and miles above your abuser. I’m sending you a virtual big hug. You will get through this, I janji ❤️