WARNING: This article contains graphic images.
A 34-year-old gay man was abducted and beaten in Normandy, France in the latest vicious homophobic attack in France.
Romain (as he is being referred to in the press to protect his identity) was on a night out in a club in Rouen, a city in the northern region of Normandy, with some gay friends on Wednesday, October 24.
He told French LGBT+ news outlet GayViking that he and his friend met two men, whom he continued partying with after his friends decided to go home.
The men then invited Romain to an after-party but then locked him in a car. The man in the passenger seat moved to the back seat and began to viciously attack Romain. Unable to get out of the car, he was subject to brutal beatings for two hours.
“Punches in the face, on the body, everywhere. The strength was such that my head was bouncing against the window like a ball. I was scared, I didn’t know what was happening, I thought I was going to die,” Romain said.
The two attackers then decided to force Romain to take €1,500 from a bank which had by then opened, but a bank employee refused the sudden request. The men then left Romain so he decided to ask for help.
Romain was told by doctors he would need ten days to rest and recover from his horrific injuries, and he has since decided to go public with his story
After he posted images of his bloodshot eyes and bruised face, back and hands to social media, the story was quickly picked up by French television stations and news outlets, which has since prompted calls for government action to tackle such homophobia in France.
French president Emmanuel Macron said “Homophobic violence must be a concern for our entire society. They are unworthy of France. Concrete measures will be announced but cannot replace the humanity and tolerance that are at the heart of our culture,” while ministers Christophe Castaner, Nicole Belloubet and Marlene Schiappa met with SOS Homophobie, who recently held a protest in Paris calling for government action against homophobic, biphobic and transphobic attacks.
Between 2017 and 2018, there has been a 15% increase in anti-LGBT+ attacks in France, according to the group.
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