Belfast mum speaks out following homophobic assault on teenage daughter

The alleged homophobic assault occurred on Tuesday, October 31, in the North Street area of Belfast. PSNI are appealing to witnesses.

The image shows an art deco building on the corner of North Street in Belfast, near where an alleged homophobic assault occurred. The building's main door is positioned on the corner with the words
Image: @frank_oconnor via X

Content warning: contains mentions of homophobia and violence.

The mother of a Belfast teenager who was injured in an alleged homophobic assault on Halloween has voiced concerns that “it could happen to someone else’s child”.

The incident happened at around 10.30pm on Tuesday, October 31, in the North Street area of Belfast city centre.

Speaking to Belfast Live, the mum recounted how her daughter was waiting at a bus stop when the “unprovoked attack” occurred.

“My daughter was in the city centre with her wee friend last night. Both of them were at the bus stop waiting to go home,” she explained.

“A girl and a few fellas were passing by and started pushing into my daughter.

“PSNI were able to say that my daughter tried to move away from the girl as she didn’t want to get in a fight,” she continued.

“The girl didn’t stop and the fellas that were with the girl started calling my daughter a ‘gay f****t’.”

The mum explained that her teenager was “very upset and shook up” by the incident. She added that she had chosen to speak out about the homophobic assault in Belfast as a warning, saying, “I’m not wanting to let it go as it could happen to someone else’s child.”

She concluded, “The police officer had also said my daughter had suffered a bad head injury because of one of the fellas slamming her head into the pavement.”

The PSNI confirmed that the incident had been reported to them and that they are investigating the allegations. 

“It was reported that at approximately 10.30pm a teenage girl was assaulted by a group of young people. It was reported that she was pushed to the ground and hit several times,” a PSNI spokesperson said.

They are appealing for information from anyone who might have been in the North Street area of Belfast on the evening of Tuesday, October 31, and witnessed the alleged homophobic assault to help with their inquiries.

The spokesperson continued, “Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 quoting reference 2001 of 31/10/23.”

Figures released by the PSNI in August this year show that there was a decrease in the number of hate crimes recorded on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity between July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023. 

However, with 474 incidents being filed for this period, down from 539 in the previous year, these still remain the second-highest figures since records began in 2005.

Earlier this week, PSNI also confirmed that they are investigating comments made by DUP councillor Colin Kennedy linking the LGBTQ+ community to support for military group Hamas as a “hate incident”.

If you have been affected by this story or are looking to reach out to someone for support or advice or just to talk, there are numerous services available for LGBTQ+ people, listed below, and many offer instant messaging support.
LGBTQI+ Helpline NI
Victim Support NI
Crime Victim Helpline

© 2023 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

Support GCN

GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.

During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.

GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.

0 comments. Please sign in to comment.