Four teens arrested in June for attacking a lesbian couple on a London bus after telling them to kiss, have been charged.
According to London’s Metropolitan Police: “A 16-year-old boy from Wandsworth has been charged with theft, handling stolen goods and Section 4a of the Public Order act (namely an aggravated hate crime). A 16-year-old boy from Kensington and Chelsea has been charged with possession of cannabis and Section 4a of the Public Order act (namely an aggravated hate crime). A 17-year-old male from Kensington and Chelsea has been charged with Section 4a of the Public Order act (namely an aggravated hate crime). A 15-year-old boy from Kensington and Chelsea has been charged with handling stolen goods and Section 4a of the Public Order act (namely an aggravated hate crime).”
The four are set to appear in court on August 21.
One of the victims of the attack, Melania, shared the photo and story on Facebook to bring awareness to chauvism, misogyny, and homophobic violence, and it quickly went viral.
Wrote Melania: “We must have kissed or something because these guys came after us. I do not 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 do not 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 to be sick, but they kept on harassing us, throwing us coins and becoming more enthusiastic about it.”
Melania continued: “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 do not 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 do not know yet if my nose is broken, and I have not been able to go back to work, but what upsets me 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 concluded: “I’m tired of being taken to 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 you 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!”