Police in London, England are "are appealing for witnesses and information" after lesbian women survived a violent homophobic attack on a bus in Camden, according to a notice posted online.
One of the women, whose full name according to CTV is Melania Geymonat, detailed the violent attack in a now-viral Facebook post. "Last Wednesday, I had a date with Chris. We got on the Night Bus, heading for her place in Camden Town, climbed upstairs and took the front seats. We must have kissed or something because these guys came after us," she writes.
Content Warning: This article includes discussion of violent homophobia and media content that may be unsettling to some readers.
Then men began verbally harrassing the couple, asking them to perform intimate and sexual activities for their entertainment. The attack quickly became violent. "The next thing I know is that Chris is in the middle of the bus fighting with them. On an impulse, I went over there only to find her face bleeding and three of them beating her up."
"The next thing I know is I'm being punched. I got dizzy at the sight of my blood and fell back. I don’t remember whether or not I lost consciousness." The police arrived to find the couple bloodied. The men also escaped with the women's personal items.
To conclude, Geymonat shares a critical message:
"I’m tired of being taken as a SEXUAL OBJECT, of finding out that these situations are usual, of gay friends who were beaten up JUST BECAUSE. We have to endure verbal harassment AND CHAUVINIST, MISOGYNISTIC AND HOMOPHOBIC VIOLENCE because when you stand up for yourself shit like this happens."
"By the way, I am thankful to all the women and men in my life that understand that HAVING BALLS MEANS SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. I just hope that in June, Pride Month, stuff like this can be spoken out loudly so they STOP HAPPENING!"
You can see her full post below:
The London Metropolitain Police write that "anyone who witnessed the incident or who has information that could assist the investigation is asked to contact police on 101 or tweet @MetCC and quote CAD737/30May. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."
London mayor Sadiq Khan has also spoken out about the attack:
We have reached out to Melania for comment. We will update this article with more information as it becomes available.
Queer people, especially queer and trans people of colour, are disproportionately the targets of violent crime. Read more about violence against LGBTQ+ people on the Human Rights Campaign website here.