A lesbian mother in Texas says she was attacked by a man after trying to protect her partner’s son from being bullied by other children in a school playground.
Following the attack, Sondra Scarber from Mesquite, Texas, has a swollen and bruised face and her jaw has been wired shut.
The 27-year-old, who struggled to talk told WFAA: “It’s hard for me to stay strong when I see myself in the mirror. I can’t do anything for myself.”
Ms Scarber says she was attacked at the playground of Seabourn Elementary after trying to protect the four-year-old son of her partner, Hillary Causey.
The couple have been together for three years and are raising Ms Causey’s son, Jaxon together.
They say the attack took place shortly after arriving at the playground on 17 February when older children began to pick on Hillary.
When Ms Scarber, confronted the father of the bullies, he became enraged after realising that she and Ms Causey were lesbians.
Ms Causey explained: “When he walked up thinking it was father and mom with the kid, he wasn’t as angry but then when he figured out it was a female, he got like super pissed, and I don’t know why.”
They claim the man punched and kicked Ms Scarber and shouted homophobic slurs while she lay on the ground unconscious and unable to defend herself.
“He was like, ‘well if you think you’re a man… I’m going to treat you like a man,’” Ms Causey said of her partner. “All she kept saying was, ‘I’m a female. I’m a female…’ She never even had time to take her hands out of pockets to try and block herself.”
The couple are convinced the attack was a hate crime, however, police officers are not treating it as such because the cause of the altercation was the scuffle between the children.
Mesquite police officer Bill Hedgpeth said: “At this point, we have no indication the assault occurred because of her sexual orientation. Regardless of motive, we want to catch them.”
Ms Causey and Ms Scarber say they are frustrated with what they feel is a lack of urgency on their case.
Ms Scarber, who is keen to see her attacker caught, now faces months of recovery after having a metal plate implanted in her jaw.
She said: “I think it’s evil to treat somebody in such a way and get away with it. I don’t think it’s okay to put someone in this much pain because you don’t think it’s okay for me to raise my son.”