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  • Writer's pictureMatt Himsworth

German Television and fighting back

This week our Associate Director Leigh Nicol appeared alongside her lawyer, Jess Alden of Slateford, together with sports data firm Sportradar on German national broadcaster ProSieben.

Leigh and Jess appeared on the news programme Galileo to speak with Sportradar Director of Intelligence & Investigation Services, Tom Harding, about the work they have done together to track down some of the many men who have abused Leigh online. Hundreds (probably thousands) of men have sent abusive messages to Leigh, or about Leigh, uploaded her criminally stolen photographs and videos, and acted with apparent impunity to form part of an abusive community which, at her lowest point, drove her to the brink. Many of those men appeared to be acting with the false confidence that they were absolutely anonymous and could not be held accountable for their actions.

After hearing about Leigh's story Sportradar got in touch and have acted for her pro bono in order to help identify many of the perpetrators by the information that they have published. The surprise with which these men have responded, when their masks have been peeled off and they received legal correspondence from Slateford, has been quite remarkable. Men who have been very happy to publicly shame and abuse Leigh have not been so willing to be publicly held to account.

The result is that a number of them have given her written apologies, spoken to her to apologise, agreed to pay compensation, charitable donations and all of them have learned a valuable lesson. Some of learned faster than others. For those that are not willing to take responsibility for their actions, legal proceedings are being prepared. Leigh's intention, in engaging in this huge project, and holding these men to account, is not to punish the perpetrators but instead to educate. To show both future potential victims and potential perpetrators that there are real consequences for these serious online crimes.

Leigh's predicament drove her close to suicide. If we can educate one potential future perpetrator that his actions would have a serious impact on a victim and could have serious repercussions for him, then we may save a life. That is why Leigh does what she does.

We will be doing more work with the UK media over the coming months. In the meantime, there is a snapshot below of our work with ProSieben (Leigh is enjoying her German dubbed alter ego!) and the rest of the piece can be viewed in Germany via Galileo's website.

We thank Sportradar and Slateford for their incredible support on this ongoing project. The fight back continues ...


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