Police in London, U.K. say arrests have been made after a woman and her girlfriend were beaten up by a group of men on a bus because they refused to kiss in front of them.
According to the Metropolitan Police, the two women, who are in their 20s, were attacked in the early hours of May 30 after they boarded a bus in West Hampstead.
In a Facebook post Wednesday, Melania Geymonat said she and her girlfriend Chris boarded a double decker bus and sat on the upper level together. She said they must have “kissed or something” because a group of four men approached them soon after.
“They started behaving like hooligans, demanding that we kissed so they could enjoy watching, calling us ‘lesbians’ and describing sexual positions,” she wrote.
Geymonat said she attempted to defuse the situation by making jokes and Chris pretended she was sick.
“They kept on harassing us,” she recalled. “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. 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.”
Geymonat said she “fell back” at the sight of her own blood and she couldn’t remember if she lost consciousness during the attack.
Police said the women were “punched” several times before the men ran off the bus.
The women were taken to hospital to be treated for facial injuries, police said.
Geymonat said she didn’t know yet if her nose had been broken in the attack.
The men also stole a bag and a phone during the assault, police said. Geymonat said she decided to speak up about the incident in order to draw attention to homophobic violence.
“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,” she said. “We have to endure verbal harassment and chauvinist, misogynistic and homophobic violence because when you stand up for yourself s**t like this happens.”
In a tweet on Friday, London Mayor Sadiq Khan called the assault “disgusting.”
“This was a disgusting, misogynistic attack. Hate crimes against the LGBT+ community will not be tolerated in London,” he said.