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Greek Olympian reveals her abuse
by sports figure
Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou praised the courage of Olympian Sophia Bekatorou for speaking out against sexual abuse in sport.
Sakellaropoulou said that her meeting with Bekatorou (in the photo) at the Presidential Mansion in Athens was "a minimal recognition of the bravery and dignity with which she shared her traumatic experience."
Last week, the veteran sailing champion opened Pandora’s Box by detailing the assault she suffered when she was at the peak of her career at the young age of 21, at the hands of an important figure involved with the Hellenic Sailing Federation.
As a young athlete ascending to the heights of Greek sailing, Bekatorou stated that she suffered a horrific assault by a much older figure involved with her team, someone who she even had considered a "father figure."
After an uproar was generated in social media and Greek society in general, other athletes also stepped forward to tell their stories of sexual harassment.
Sakellaropoulou said her courage offered hope to other women who had suffered similar abuse in their personal and professional lives.
"To all those who carry their trauma silently for years, not daring to denounce it, because they know inwardly that they will be treated at best with pity or suspicion and at worst with contempt, ridicule, and even social stigma," President Sakellaropoulou said in a statement.
"I hope her brave revelation will blow like a rushing wind and sweep any hypocrisy, any cover-up attempt away… It is time to end the guilt of the victims and the impunity of the perpetrators," she added.
"It is time to build a value system in which women will not be treated as potential prey, their weakness will not be seen as consent and their silence will not be criticized as quasi-complicity," Sakellaropoulou stressed.
According to credible sources, Bekatorou has now provided evidence that can be used to initiate a criminal prosecution, in her testimony to the public prosecutor who is conducting a preliminary examination into her allegations of sexual abuse.
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