London Lesbian Couple Harassed and Brutally Bashed on Public Bus

Mayor Sadiq Khan called the incident "a disgusting, misogynistic attack."

A lesbian couple in the United Kingdom was reportedly harassed and beaten up by a group of men after refusing to kiss each other on a public bus.

Melania Geymonat, a 28-year-old flight attendant, and her girlfriend Chris were riding a Camden-bound night bus in London earlier this week when they were approached by a group of four leering men, reports The Standard U.K.

Geymonat, who shared a post about the attack on Facebook, claimed the men had boarded the bus before them and were “behaving like hooligans and demanding that [we] kissed so they could enjoy watching.” She and Chris were alone when the four men got rowdy, meaning they couldn’t turn to other passengers for help.

“The next thing I know is that Chris is in the middle of the bus fighting with them,” Geymonat recalled. “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.”

The couple shared photos of themselves after the altercation on Facebook, too, including an image of Geymonat and her girlfriend bloodied and bruised (warning: the photos below are graphic and may be disturbing to some.)

On Twitter, London Mayor Sadiq Khan confirmed that the city’s police are investigating the incident as a hate crime. “This was a disgusting, misogynistic attack,” he wrote, adding that hate crimes against the LGBTQ community “will not be tolerated in London.”

Geymonat, too, added that she’s tired of enduring homophobic comments and abuse:

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.

Police also confirmed to The Standard that both women were treated at a nearby hospital for their injuries. Authorities are appealing for witnesses, and anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact London’s metropolitan police.

This is hardly the first hate-motivated attack on LGBTQ Londoners in recent history. Just this January, a group of nine men in London were sentenced to 17 years in prison for a horrific homophobic assault involving acid.

A survey of U.K. hate crime statistics published in 2017 also found that homophobic and transphobic attacks in Britain skyrocketed some 78% between 2012 and 2017.

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