Strictlys Katie Piper gets vile verbal abuse from strangers over facial burns

Katie Piper has revealed she has faced vile verbal abuse about her appearance from men in the streets who cat-call her when she's out in public.

The former Strictly Come Dancing star opened up about her experience of online trolls whilst appearing on ITV's Loose Women on Thursday (23 September).

It comes after Katie recently penned a powerful letter in response to her online trolls who mocked her appearance – after one Twitter user told her she had a "designer face".

Katie underwent surgery after she suffered major damage to her face following a gruesome acid attack from her ex-boyfriend and an accomplice in 2008.

Speaking to host Kaye Adams and the rest of the Loose Women panel, Katie recalled the numerous times she's suffered nasty comments about her looks from men in vans – even when she's with her young children.

She said: "I have the kind of stuff where because I'm slim and blonde from the back, white van drivers will cat-call me and give out what they term as 'compliments'.

"And when they see my face it will then turn to insults, and I might be pushing the buggy with my child, I might be on my own, I might be with a friend or a colleague."

She went on to say that most people are lovely to her when they see her out and about, with many telling her that they can relate to Katie's own experiences.

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She continued: "There are some amazing people that come up to me that have shared experiences, that will hug me and talk to me, but that abuse happens everywhere.

"So this for me isn't a subject about trolling, it's a subject about misogyny."

It comes after Katie took to Instagram to pen an emotional letter to online trolls, addressing "those who feel like it's ok to act like this online".

Katie had received a hurtful message from a user on Twitter who had told her she had a "designer" face.

Opening up about her own self-image after her acid attack, Katie told Loose Women that she feels "confident" in herself.

She said: "I've been disfigured, I've had my burns for thirteen years now and I'm confident, I'm proud of how I look.

"I'm thrilled to be alive and to be here today doing this [campaigning] so it doesn't hurt me personally."

She explained that she wanted to respond to this particular troll as she mentors other burns survivors who have anxiety about going out in public – wanting to to look out for those people who might look to her as an example.

Reacting to the troll in her emotional statement earlier this week, Katie said: "When someone writes something so awful and offensive about someone who is burnt or disfigured like me in the public eye, it makes those with visible differences at home not want to leave the house.

"You should always learn someone's story and you should never judge someone without knowing what they’ve been through. You shouldn’t judge them regardless, no matter what they look like.

"I spend my days via my charity The Katie Piper Foundation seeing how much mental and psychological support it takes after a burns injury, or a disfigurement. My volunteers, specialists, nurses and doctors spend years with our patients helping them prepare again physically and mentally for the 'real world'."

In 2009, Katie launched the Katie Piper Foundation, which aimed to raise awareness of the issues suffered by victims of burns and other disfigurement injuries.

Loose Women airs weekdays at 12.30pm on ITV.

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