Italian Fencer Beatrice Vio Victim of Online Sexual Harassment

Beatrice Vio (center) Celebrates winning a European Championship (Source:Wikimedia Commons)

Paralympic Champion and Laureus award winner, Beatrice Vio has been subjected to a disgusting Facebook hate campaign it has been revealed by the athlete on Wednesday. Vio was the victim of anonymous sexual harassment on Facebook earlier in the year and has now submitted the paperwork to file a complaint.

A Facebook page was set up posting sexually explicit messages attacking Vio, with the page being taken down by Facebook since the incident. The 19-year-old won gold in Rio in Wheelchair Fencing and has continued her good form in recent months.

“I have just filed a complaint against the people who created this Facebook page. A firm response was necessary,” said Vio to Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica. “I feel bitter. I’ve been struggling for others all these years and it’s a great disappointment that these people feel they can insult me over the internet. It’s sad.”

Understandably, Italians have been outraged about the incident, with many expressing support for Vio on her official Facebook page. Vio has been a star of Italian sport and has become a celebrity in Italy for her wheelchair fencing exploits. It seems it is that fame that inspired these abusers to target Vio who is widely admired in Italy.

The Italian authorities have noted that they have not yet identified the suspects but will be working hard to identify the individuals involved. It is not clear if that would be possible or what any potential penalty would be for those individuals.

Vio’s next event will be the world cup event in her home nation as she competes in the Pisa World Cup event next month.

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