City to march in the streets in protest at 5 lesbian women brutally beaten
A city is to take to the streets in protest after a group of lesbian women were brutally beaten up.
The city of Portsmouth will bring back its pride parade, which had been dropped for 2017, in response to the brutal assault.
Five women were set upon by more than 15 men in an alleged homophobic beating which left the victims devastated and with missing teeth.
The women, who published photos of their injuries in The News, said the attack happened after leaving the Blue Anchor pub in the coastal city.
One woman said she feared she would die from the attack, another lost seven front teeth from a single punch and a third had a fit after she was left bleeding.
Local activists Samo White and partner Donna Carter decided to recreate the event after hearing about the attack.
Samo, owner of Play Dead studio in Highlands Road, told The News: “Everyone is quite shocked within the LGBT community and in Southsea as a whole that this attack has happened.
“It’s our chance for everyone to say we don’t want this happened in our city.
“The idea of not having a pride now is quite shocking.”
The 30-year-old, who is trans queer, added: “It’s needed, not just to keep people safe, the awareness is needed.
“We need to educate people and our allies and to become visible.
“We’ve got a wonderful community, everyone is pulling together.”
Plans are now being put together for a march in September to show the community’s solidarity following the reported assaults.
One victim, who remains anonymous, said: “I don’t think they handled it well at all.
“We was telling the police who assaulted people and they let ’em go in taxis.”
“No other witnesses got called to give statements.”
“There was 20-30 men involved – I don’t understand how only four has been arrested.”
Another victim told the BBC: “They’ve handled it completely wrong, they didn’t even come over and check if we were OK.
“There was no photos taken of the injuries.”
“I’ve been groped and grabbed as well as the other girls. We should have had a female officer there.”
Hampshire Police say officers attended the scene within 10 minutes, and four men, one from Portsmouth and three from London, have been arrested.
The men have since been released, but remain under investigation.
In a statement, Hampshire Police said: “We have explained our complaints procedure to the victims as they have indicated they are unhappy with the response they have received.
“If a formal complaint is made we will investigate thoroughly.”