An American woman who was left with a broken jaw after she and her friend were beaten and robbed by a gang of men in a London bus because they refused to kiss, spoke up after the torture and defiantly said: " We are not afraid to be visibly strange. & # 39;
Melania Geymonat (28) and her American partner Chris (29) got bloody and injured in the early hours of May 30 after an evening in West Hampstead in northwest London.
Chris has now, in shocking details, exposed the couple's hideous attack and described how a gang of young men saw them as a couple when they were holding hands – and began to request that they kiss while being grossly sexual Made gestures.
She told BBC London News: “They got up from their seats and walked over to us and started to harass us very aggressively. One of them stayed a few rows behind and threw coins at us.
"I haven't dealt with him at all. Melania initially tried to de-escalate the situation. She was friendly, but tried to keep her at bay. & # 39;
When the couple refused to do what the gang asked, they were subjected to a heinous attack. Both had facial injuries and were robbed during the attack – which occurred when the two were traveling to Chris’s house in Camden.
Miss Geymonat (right) and her friend Chris (left) spoke to BBC London News tonight and reiterated the heinous attack they had suffered from the gang
Chris' injuries were still visible when she spoke to BBC London News tonight. Both she and Miss Geymonat had bruises on the face
Melania Geymonat (right), 28, posted this picture of her with her bloodied friend Chris (left) after she claims to have been attacked by a group of young men on a London bus
Miss Geymonat is now waiting to find out if her nose was broken in the attack. It is shown on the left before the incident and directly after it. She appears to have had an injured eye
She continued: "There were fights and I don't know how we got from the fight on the top of the bus to the lower deck, but during that time they got my cell phone, bag and they ran out of the bus."
Chris had a broken jaw after the attack and Miss Geymonth had a broken nose. Her injuries were still visible when she spoke on camera.
Metropolitan Police figures show that the number of homophobic and transgender attacks has increased by 18 percent compared to the previous year – from May 2017 to April 2018.
Chris continued: “I was and still am angry. It was scary, but what still makes me angry is that this is not a new situation. More hate crimes are committed. We are just an anecdote. "
And Miss Geymonat added: “The violence is not only because we are women who meet. It's also because we are women. "
Miss Geymonat is a Ryanair flight attendant. She has been in the position since February of this year
Chris defiantly got up for himself after the attack and asked what people should take of the incident. He said: "I'm not afraid of being visibly strange.
"There are many human rights at risk and basic human security is at risk.
“I want people to feel encouraged to stand up to the same people who feel encouraged. I want people to stand up for themselves and each other. & # 39;
Scotland Yard confirmed today that it was investigating the "homophobic attack" in which a phone and a bag were stolen during the attack on the N31 bus at 2:30 am.
Detectives said four male teenagers between the ages of 15 and 18 were arrested on suspicion of robbery and severe GBH after the heinous attack.
Miss Geymonat, a young doctor from Uruguay who is currently working as a stewardess on a sabbatical in Europe, also remembered the shock attack – moments after she refused to kiss the gang.
"The next thing I know is that I will be hit. The sight of my blood made me dizzy and I fell back. I don't remember if I passed out or not, ”she said.
Miss Geymonat recalled the gang's demands and added: “They wanted us to kiss so they could watch us. I tried to alleviate the situation because I am not a confrontational person and told them to please leave us alone because Chris was not feeling well. & # 39;
The gang threw things on the bus that was going to Camden, where Chris lives, and the couple asked them to stop.
Miss Geymonat told BBC London News: “The violence is not only because we are women who meet. It's also because we are women.
Both women were hospitalized for facial injuries. Miss Geymonat said one of the men spoke Spanish and the others had British accents.
"The next thing I remember was Chris in the middle and they hit her," added Ms. Geymonat, who is originally from Uruguay but now lives in the Essex village of Takeley.
I didn't think about it and went inside. I pulled them back and tried to defend them so they started beating me.
"I don't even know if I was knocked out. I felt blood, I bled all over my clothes and all over the floor. We went downstairs and the police were there. & # 39;
The couple had decided to sit on the front of the upper deck because both were enjoying the novelty of a double-decker bus.
But the trip was far worse than expected. Miss Geymonat is still waiting to find out if her nasty attack broke her nose.
Melania Geymonat's full Facebook post after the bus attack
English & Spanish, against CHAUVINISTIC, MISOGYNISTIC AND HOMOPHOBIC VIOLENCE
I had a date with Chris last Wednesday. We got on the night bus, drove to their place in Camden Town, climbed the stairs and took the front seats. We must have kissed or something because these guys were after us. I don't remember if they were there or if they got it further to us. There were at least four of them. They behaved like hooligans and asked that we kiss so that they could enjoy watching, calling us "lesbians" and describing sexual positions. I don't remember the whole episode, but I remembered the word "scissors". It was only she and we there. To calm things down, I started joking. I thought that could make them go away. Chris even pretended to be sick, but they kept bothering us, throwing coins and getting excited about it. The next thing I know is that Chris is in the middle of the bus fighting with them. I went there on impulse, only to find that her face was bleeding and three of them were beating her. The next thing I know is that I will be hit. The sight of my blood made me dizzy and I fell back. I don't remember whether I've lost consciousness or not. Suddenly the bus had stopped, the police were there and I was bleeding everywhere. Our things were also stolen. I still don't know if my nose is broken and I haven't been able to work again, but what most upsets me is that VIOLENCE has become a common cause, sometimes it is necessary to see a woman bleed afterwards, to feel some kind of impact. I am tired of being taken as a SEXUAL OBJECT to find out that these situations are common, from gay friends who have been spanked ONLY. We have to endure verbal harassment and CHAUVINISTIC, MISOGYNISTIC AND HOMOPHOBIC VIOLENCE because if you stand up for yourself this will happen. Incidentally, I am grateful to all women and men in my life who understand that BALLS MEANS SOMETHING DIFFERENT. I just hope that in June, Pride Month, things like that can be said out loud so they don't happen again!
She said there were at least four of them and one spoke Spanish, while the others had a British accent. The attackers reportedly robbed the couple before fleeing.
Ms. Geymonat, who moved to the UK in February and spent a year on the Sabbath after studying medicine, said she felt safe as a gay woman in London.
After she was taken aback by the attack, she published the picture to draw attention to violence against women and gays.
Miss Geymonat added: "It is not isolated, it is common. We were seen as entertainment, that makes me so angry. & # 39;
Speaking on BBC Radio 4's World At One today, she said, “We tried to make it disappear, but they didn't. They threw coins at us. The next thing I know is that Chris is in the middle of the bus and she is being beaten.
"I went there accidentally, I didn't think about it and tried to pull her out of there. So they started beating me, I don't remember if I tried to get them out or I hit someone – I really didn't.
So they started beating me until I bled. I was really bleeding. We went downstairs and the police were already there. You made our statements and called the ambulance and everything. & # 39;
She added: "It is a surprise for me. I know there is constant verbal violence and that made me tell the story. Even when these guys came, it wasn't the first situation where men see two women kissing and wondering if we're a show.
“I have gay friends who were on the street and beaten everywhere. Now other people have told me that there is a lot of violence, that we were even lucky enough to be on a bus, because if we were on the street, nobody knows what could have happened. & # 39;
She said the police were "extremely good" in dealing with the incident.
Miss Geymonat shared her experience on Wednesday in a Facebook post that has now attracted more than 3,700 comments and 9,700 shares.
Prime Minister Theresa May and union leader Jeremy Corbyn both condemned the attack.
Ms. May said, “This was a disgusting attack and my thoughts are with the couple concerned.
"Nobody should ever have to hide who he is or who he loves, and we have to work together to eradicate unacceptable violence against the LGBT community."
Mr. Corbyn described the attack as "absolutely shocking" and said: "We must not and will not accept this homophobic and misogynistic violence in our society."
"Solidarity with Melania and Chris and everyone in the LGBT + community for everything they endure, just to be what they are."
London Mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted: “This was a disgusting, misogynistic attack. Hate crimes against the LGBT + community are not tolerated in London. & # 39;
Constituency member Tulip Siddiq added: “Terrified by this homophobic attack on two women who are simply trying to spend an evening in West Hampstead.
“There can be no excuses, no room for such obscene behavior. My full solidarity goes to these women and the British LGBT community. & # 39;
And Health Minister Matt Hancock said, “This is horrific. Everyone has the right to love and I was proud to support an equal marriage. & # 39;
Ms. Geymonat graduated from the Universidad de la República in Montevideo last year and worked at the Hospital de Clínicas Montevideo before moving to the UK.
In an online profile, she said that she had been "motivated by storytelling since childhood" and had also studied acting.
The attack occurred last week on an N31 bus (left) towards Camden Town (right). The couple had been on a date night, holding hands on the bus
It originally comes from Palmitas, a small town with less than 3,000 inhabitants in Uruguay, but later moved to Montevideo. She has also lived in Barcelona, Santiago in Chile and on a boat in Greece. Miss Geymonat also traveled to Italy, where her family originally came from.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said, "The police are asking for witnesses and information after two women were attacked and robbed during a homophobic attack on a bus in Camden.
The incident occurred at around 2:30 p.m. on May 30 after the two women, aged over 20, had boarded an N31 bus in West Hampstead.
When they were sitting on the upper deck, they were approached by a group of four men who started making lewd and homophobic comments about them.
The women were then attacked and beaten several times before the men ran out of the bus. A phone and bag were stolen during the attack. Both women were hospitalized for facial injuries. & # 39;
Siwan Hayward, director of compliance, police and on-street services at Transport for London, said: “This disgusting attack is absolutely unacceptable. Homophobic behavior and abuse are a hate crime and are not tolerated in our network.
“All of our customers have the right to travel without fear of verbal or physical abuse, and we work with the police to eradicate this behavior on our transportation network. We will do everything we can to support the police investigation into this incident. & # 39;
** Do you know any of the victims? Please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org **
Anyone who has witnessed the incident or has information that could assist the investigation is asked to contact the police at number 101 or tweet @MetCC and quote CAD737 / 30May. Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously at 0800 555 111
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