BUSINESSWOMAN Camilla Ainsworth has spoken out about her experience dealing with the inappropriate behaviour directed towards her online in a bid to show other women they need to be vocal about the issue if anything is ever to change.

As the youngest ever finalist to appear in Lord Sugar’s boardroom during the 2018 series of hit TV show The Apprentice, Camilla was forced to quickly adapt to having a large following on social media after amassing over 50,000 followers on Instagram throughout her time on the program.

How ever the 24-year-old said it wasn’t long before she started to notice a small number of vulgar messages creeping into her inbox, some partnered with indecent images of men she had never seen or met before.

And after two years of dealing with the issue by deleting all the photos and blocking the accounts they were sent from, Blackburn-born Camilla has vowed to take a stand against the perpetrators after the issue worsened around two weeks ago.

Speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph, she said: “I’m a very mentally strong person and I’m not in anyway shape or form emotional – but last week it all got too me, and I completely broke down.

“I have messages upon messages in my inbox from men sending me indecent pictures, partnered with comments about my appearance and other disgusting remarks. Since lockdown began the whole thing has gained momentum and I’m receiving more of these pictures now than ever before.

“I showed my emotions to my followers last week on Instagram as I want people to understand the severity of this issue and I want people to know they can speak out about it if it has happened to them, too.”

The former Westholme School pupil said she now has a list of over 1000 accounts that are blocked from contacting her but stressed it’s easy for them to make another profile and do the same thing all over again with little or no repercussions.

Camilla added it’s impossible for her to put restrictions on who can contact her due to the fact she runs her business, mylkplus, across social media.

She said: “I’ve gone down every avenue I feel is available to me, from blocking the accounts to contacting Facebook and trying to get help tracing IP addresses.

“I really feel stricter regulations need to be put in place by Facebook and Instagram to ensure accounts are correctly linked to people and they can be traced, otherwise this kind of thing will never stop.”

And despite the indecent pictures she is still receiving, Camilla said she has been overwhelmed by the response from hundreds of women who either didn’t know this kind of thing was going on, or wanted to speak because it had happened to them, too.

She said: “People have approached me and said they are disgusted to discover that this is going on. Mothers with young daughters who are horrified that this happens.

“It’s enough to make me not want to have a daughter – the thought that one day she may have to put up with all of this.”

Alongside others who have experienced the same issues, Camilla now plans to take to social media in a bid to raise awareness of the issue and show those responsible for sending the messages that she won’t back down.

She said: “This is not an issue I’m just going to let go on. I will keep talking about it and keeping the conversation going.

“This kind of behaviour is not acceptable in this day and age and it should not be allowed to continue.”