Horrific homophobic attack on two women in their twenties has become an international story amid gay pride festivities across the United States
As Metro UK Reports, the two women who are in a relationship boarded a bus in West Hampstead, London, around 2:30 a.m. Thursday.
What happened next shocked the conscience of England and the word and bloody image of the battered couple quickly went viral.
Here is the official statement from the London Metropolitan Police regarding the incident:
“While they were sitting on the upper deck, they were approached by a group of four men who started making obscene and homophobic comments at them. The women were then attacked and beaten several times before the men got off the bus. A phone and a bag were stolen in the assault. The two women were taken to hospital to treat facial injuries.
The cold, official language of law enforcement fails to capture the shocking nature of the crime.
Metro UK published an interview with member of the battered couple, Melania Geymonat, 28, from Uruguay. She ended up with a possible broken nose, while her girlfriend Chris, from the United States, was also beaten up, Metro UK writes. Chris has not been fully identified in the story.
The bus trip changed dramatically for the couple when what Melania called a gang of young men behind them saw that they were a couple and started demanding that they kiss each other while making rude sexual gestures, the newspaper reports, adding:
“They wanted us to kiss each other so that they could look at each other,” Melania told Metro UK. “I tried to defuse the situation because I’m not a confrontational person, telling them to leave us alone because Chris was not feeling well. The next thing I remember was Chris in the middle of them and they were beating her. I didn’t think about it and walked in.
“I was pulling her back and trying to defend her so they started beating me. I don’t even know if I lost consciousness. I could smell blood, I was bleeding all over my clothes and on the floor. We got out and the police were there.
The attackers also robbed the couple before fleeing the bus.
Men are described as being in their twenties or thirties. The police investigation and the search for the men are continuing.
Meanwhile, the incident becomes a flashpoint for change in the gay community.
Here’s how Melania presented it to Metro UK:
“We were seen as entertainment, which is what makes me so angry. What upsets me the most is that violence has become commonplace, that sometimes you have to see a woman bleed after being punched to feel some kind of impact. I’m fed up with being mistaken for a sex object, finding out that these situations are usual, gay friends who were beaten up just because. We must endure verbal harassment and chauvinistic, misogynist and homophobic violence. “