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Italian acid attack victim shares defiant selfie showing her scars

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Italian acid attack victim shares defiant selfie showing her scars
The selfie shared on Instagram. Photo: Gessica Notaro/Instagram
17:22 CEST+02:00
An Italian dolphin trainer and former Miss Italy contestant who was disfigured by acid in January has taken to Instagram to share her first selfie since the brutal attack.

Gessica Notaro's ex-boyfriend is currently in prison awaiting trial for the attack, in which a large quantity of acid used to unblock drains was thrown over Notaro's face.

The photo she shared on Instagram showed the burns to her face, while an eyepatch covered one eye.

"Hello, friends," wrote Gessica Notaro in the caption accompanying the selfie. "This is my first selfie for a long time."

She added that she had shared the image in order to show that other social media profiles purporting to be run by her were fakes, and asked her followers to help her report the people behind them. 

Almost 30,000 people have liked the picture, with over 1,000 comments showing support for Notaro. "Carry on living, because you'll find your way and happiness, I admire your courage and believe in you," wrote one user.

The selfie came days after Notaro appeared on Italian television to show her burns.

She described her two months in hospital as "imprisonment" and said she had a further year to wait until she would be well enough for plastic surgery.

“I can't live life as I used to. I can't go out in the sun, am constantly trapped in this mask and my face hurts all the time. I cannot do my job because I can't go in the water," said Notaro, who formerly worked in an aquarium in the coastal town of Rimini.

After the attack, Italian media reported that Notaro - who is also a professional singer - was glad that her vocal chords had not been damaged.

"I'm still alive, don't worry, I can get through this," she is said to have told friends while recovering in hospital.

One of the organizers of the Miss Italy beauty pageant, Patrizia Mirigliani, described the attack as “yet another act of violence against a woman, and using one of the most despicable methods."

“There is no greater crime than defacing a person's face in order to erase her identity, her beauty, her smile. These are outrageous attacks which are repeated endlessly," said Mirigliani.

Lucia Annibali, a lawyer who suffered a similar attack in 2013 and has become a symbol and vocal supporter of Italy's fight against gendered violence, said she was "struck and saddened" by the increasing use of acid in gendered attacks.

READ ALSO: 'I'll get through this', vows victim of revenge acid attack

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