CW: This article contains descriptions and images of violence and details of a homophobic attack.
A 20 year-old lesbian woman was left ‘bleeding and scared’ after a vile homophobic attack in which two men ambushed her as she was walking to meet a friend on Saturday, January 11.
Charlie Graham has shared images of herself covered in blood to raise awareness around the prevalence of homophobia and hate crimes. This is the fifth time the young woman has been attacked due to her sexuality. On Facebook, she posted, “I’m doing much better atm, I am in a lot of pain but I’m pushing through it, thanks you so much for all just get well soon but unfortunately this isn’t the first time I’ve been jumped, I’ve been jumped five time before this.”
Previously, Graham has required stitches after an attacker inflicted damage to her eye. Another time, a stranger shouted ‘d*ke’ before punching her while she held hands with her girlfriend.
Speaking to the Daily Star after the Saturday attack, Graham said, “[It is] very important to me for my pictures to be shared, so people are aware there are people out there that will attack you for whatever reason they feel is necessary – whether that is your sexuality, colour of your skin, the way you walk or how you dress.”
As Graham walked to meet a friend on Blackwood Road, UK, an unseen assailant punched her in the head from behind. She was then shoved to the ground by two men, who proceeded to push her down as she tried to stand up. The pair ran off, leaving the young woman covered in blood.
Due to the ambush, Graham has suffered from headaches and panic attacks. As reported in Unilad, she said, “I have panic attacks and anxiety attacks just thinking about going home in case they find out where I live and decide to come through the door, or I get attacked in my own home.”
After the attackers fled the scene, Graham contacted her mother and aunt through FaceTime. They described the young woman as being “dazed” by the attack. The 20 year-old lesbian woman believes the assault was a homophobic attack and detectives are treating it as a hate crime.
Northumbria Police have launched an investigation into the homophobic attack. Investigators are inquiring into the identity of those responsible, which is still ongoing. A spokesperson from the department said, “She was not seriously injured during the incident but was very shaken up by the attack. Enquiries to identify those responsible is ongoing but this is being treated as a hate crime by police.”
Highlighting the long term impact of homophobic crimes, Graham said, “I’ve tried not to let it beat me up and get on with my life, but I do worry if it happens again that it is worse than it was before. It did scare me, but I thought ‘it’s just one of those things… it’s happened again’. What am I supposed to do about it? It happens everywhere. It’s my bad luck.”
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