Popular Twitch streamer Sweet Anita has been battling a stalker for quite some time without much help from police — and now, she’s gathered statements from other top broadcasters who are speaking out in hopes that their testimonies can raise awareness to a disturbing and ever-growing online issue.
On August 24, Twitch broadcaster Janet Rose — commonly known by her online moniker, ‘XChocoBars’ — expressed fears of being killed by her stalker of two years. She isn’t the only internet personality dealing with such a frightening situation — and she’s certainly not the only one afraid for her life.
“I often think about how I will [probably] die by the hands of my stalker, and no one can do anything about it until it really happens,” Rose tweeted. “I know it’s heavy to talk about, but if it does happen, I hope my death will mean something and help protect other creators from similar situations.”
I often think about how I will prob die by the hands of my stalker and no one can do anything about it until it really happens 😞 I know it’s heavy to talk about but if it does happen I hope my death will mean something and help protect other creators from similar situations
— Janet 🍫 (@xChocoBars) August 24, 2020
Her Tweet echoes eerily similar posts by other content creators, such as fellow Twitch star Sweet Anita, who has likewise been open about her own experiences in dealing with a long-term stalker.
According to Anita, her stalker moved within four minutes of where she lived and even took to sleeping outside of her home.
However, that disturbing factoid doesn’t even compare to when he followed her to a shop and chased her out into the street, purportedly carrying a knife. It was only after he was held back by two shopkeepers, who testified to local law enforcement, that he was arrested — but it doesn’t seem like his brush with the law has put him off one bit.
In a screenshot posted to Twitter on July 14, Anita revealed a series of death threats the stalker made via her Twitch chat. One message read: “I’ll kill you soon. Not with the cheap kitchen knife I had last time. No, I’m gonna bring out something special for you.”
He stated this publicly last stream. Last time he left messages like this he sat outside my house waiting for me to come out all day, then followed me to a shop. When I asked if he was armed he silently smirked and then chased me. Two men had to grab him so that I could escape. pic.twitter.com/AK8HZpJoTs
— Sweet Anita (@Tweet4nita) July 14, 2020
Defeated, Anita admitted she felt “helpless,” having reached out to police multiple times with little to no results and a lackluster attitude, to boot.
“If anything happens to me, I really hope that I'm the last canary in the coal mine,” she wrote. “The law needs to change. No job should have such a high risk of rape, assault or death, especially not livestreaming.”
If anything happens to me, I really hope that I'm the last canary in the coal mine. The law needs to change, No job should have such a high risk of rape, assault or death, especially not live streaming.
— Sweet Anita (@Tweet4nita) July 14, 2020
Twitch streamers are far from the only online personalities suffering from stalkers; TikTok’s most-followed content creator, Charli D’Amelio, is also dealing with a similar situation — with an eerily disturbing twist.
Influencer ‘Lovely Peaches’ made a sickening threat toward the 16-year-old TikToker in early July, claiming that she’d hired a 30-year-old man to sexually assault her.
Peaches even posted photos to Instagram that seemed to have been taken outside the D’Amelio family home, claiming that she’d hired a member of Charli’s security team to carry out the heinous deed.
Shortly thereafter, it was reported that the D’Amelios had hired a private security detail as a protective measure in wake of Peaches’ threats, which big sister Dixie D’Amelio admitted she couldn’t say much about during a prior interview with paparazzi.
Studies from a 2018 Vice article show that 55 British women from 2015 - 2017 were killed by men who they had previously reported to law enforcement.
This, compared with Anita’s own retelling of UK police’s apparent mishandling of her own stalking situation, holds up to paint an especially horrific picture of negligence and outright carelessness — and there’s not much that the streamers, nor their fans, can do to immediately help.
“The sad thing is, I have had this happen before, even before streaming, and I know he won't be the last,” Anita continued. “I'm exasperated. No matter how extreme the situation, the response has always been the same. They log it and do nothing, and I feel helpless.”
Janet has experienced a similar situation with US police, with fellow streamer Disguised Toast claiming that she has “gone to the authorities, spoken to lawyers - responses always boils down to: ‘We can’t do anything unless he does commit a crime,’ despite the overwhelming amount of evidence.”
Janet has been dealing with this for over 2 years now.
She has gone to the authorities, spoken to lawyers - responses always boils down to: “We can’t do anything unless he does commit a crime” despite the overwhelming amount of evidence.
Sorry you’re still dealing with this.
— Disguised Toast (@DisguisedToast) August 25, 2020
These issues have been further brought to light by a video Anita uploaded to YouTube on September 7, which included interviews with other Twitch stars like xChocobars, Kaceytron, and Destiny, all of whom shared their own experiences with stalkers — and expressed disappointment at police inaction regarding the matter.
“I’ve given up a long time ago,” Chocobars said of her situation during the interview with Anita. “I think I gave up when the police or the authorities said they couldn’t do much. That’s who’s supposed to protect us, you know?”
“I don’t ever rely on the cops for help,” Destiny added. “It seems it’s kind of like, everybody’s out for themselves about everything because the police just don’t give a f*** about online s**t at all.”
It’s no secret that the rising “simp” army — a term for overly dedicated male fans of female entertainers who go out of their way to perform generous actions with the intent of striking up a romantic relationship with them — is just one symptom of the ever-evolving parasocial relationships we see online.
The line between real-life interactions and these parasocial relationships are ever-blurring — to the point that viewers have donated entire months’ worth of rent to their favorite streamer in the hopes she’ll ask them out on a date.
As online behavior seems to continually degrade, women (and men) with a social media presence are left, as Anita so described, “helpless.” With combined inaction from law enforcement and open harassment of women on the internet in spite of their pleas to stop (as seen in the case of AT&T commercial actress Milana Vayntrub), it’s easy for them to feel completely overwhelmed.
this is so sad. she (the at&t girl) is talking about how she’s uncomfortable with being sexualized and people r making sexual comments about her chest. what the fuck. pic.twitter.com/LKFNQeFwo3
— tyler 🧟♂️🖤 (@emotylol) August 24, 2020
Looking at Anita and Janet’s Tweets side-by-side puts a sick feeling into one’s stomach. It’s as if they’ve accepted — or at least been forced to accept — the very real possibility that they could get seriously hurt or even die at the hands of stalkers, an issue that has gone relatively unchecked by police.
Luckily, fans are at the ready with tips, suggestions and even legal advice, and although there’s no guarantee of either woman’s safety, the sentiment from viewers and friends of the streamers’ is overwhelmingly positive, burning a bright light in an impossibly hopeless and desperate situation that has become all too familiar for content creators.