Bloody Homophobic Bus Attack in London Leads to Arrests
There were 2,308 homophobic hate crimes across London in 2018, compared with 2014 when 1,488 were recorded, according to the Met Police’s crime dashboard.
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. I don’t remember if they were already there or if they got on after us. There were at least four of them. They started behaving like hooligans, demanding that we kissed so they could enjoy watching, calling us ‘lesbians’ and describing sexual positions. I don’t remember the whole episode, but the word “scissors” stuck in my mind. It was only them and us there. In an attempt to calm things down, I started making jokes. I thought this might make them go away. Chris even pretended she was sick, but they kept on harassing us, throwing us coins and becoming more enthusiastic about it.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. Suddenly the bus had stopped, the police were there and I was bleeding all over. Our stuff was stolen as well. I don’t know yet if my nose is broken, and I haven’t been able to go back to work, but what upsets me the most is that VIOLENCE HAS BECOME A COMMON THING, that sometimes it’s necessary to see a woman bleeding after having been punched to feel some kind of impact.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!
London Arrests Made
“They started beating me, I was bleeding all over – I was really bleeding”
— The World at One (@BBCWorldatOne) June 7, 2019
Leader of the U.K.’s Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn, also tweeted about the incident:
Absolutely shocking. We must not, and will not, accept this homophobic and misogynist violence in our society. Solidarity to Melania and Chris, and to all in the LGBT+ community for everything they endure for simply being who they are.https://t.co/C4t7lxrr0M
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) June 7, 2019
Outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May commented on the attack as well, “This was a sickening attack and my thoughts are with the couple affected. Nobody should ever have to hide who they are or who they love and we must work together to eradicate unacceptable violence towards the LGBT community.”
Rise of Homophobic Attacks in London
Police are appealing for witnesses for the attack which happened at about 02:30 BST on a N31 bus in West Hampstead.There were 2,308 homophobic hate crimes across London in 2018, compared with 2014 when 1,488 were recorded, according to the Met Police’s crime dashboard.Det Sgt Anthony Forsyth said there had been a “steady increase in the reporting of all hate crime,” which was partly due to the “growing willingness of victims to report crime and the improved awareness by police.”
In a government report [United Kingdom] in 2019, at least two in five respondents had experienced an incident because they were LGBT+, such as verbal harassment or physical violence, in the 12 months preceding the survey.However, more than nine in 10 of the most serious incidents went unreported, often because respondents thought “it happens all the time.”