Lesbian couple beaten up in suspected homophobic attack in Worcester
A lesbian couple have opened up about their horrifying experience of being physically attacked on Saturday night in Worcester in a suspected homophobic attack.
Lauren Heeks (22) and her girlfriend, Jade Vernalls (25) were outside the entrance to Asda in Worcester at 1am on Saturday morning, reports the Worcester News.
Heeks said that some men began shouting at them. When she asked them what their problem was, the men attacked the couple.
“It all happened so fast,” she told the Worcester News. “They started hitting me and then my partner stood in front of me, trying to defend me.
“She got kicked in the face and I also got kicked two or three times in the face and punched four times as well.”
Heeks said that the person who beat them up was not English, and that he was possibly Eastern European, and thinks he was in his late 20s or early 30s.
Both escaped without life-threatening injuries, however both are bruised. Meanwhile, Vernalls had a swollen eye after the incident.
Heeks said that they think it was a homophobic attack as they are “clearly” a lesbian couple, and that there would have been no other reason for the men to “come out of nowhere” and attack them.
When the men stopped attacking Vernalls, she called the police, which is what prompted the men to run away.
They have since reported the attack to police, who have taken photos of Heeks’ injuries.
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She said she did not need an ambulance at the time, but went to A&E the day after the attack as she was in severe pain.
They are also hoping that anybody who may have seen the attack, or might know anything about their attackers, will come forward to tell police. They think that a group of women may have witnessed the attack.
Anybody with information is being encouraged to contact West Mercia Police.
Just last year, research from LGBT+ charity Stonewall revealed that one in five LGBT+ people had experienced a hate crime or incident because of their sexual orientation in the 12 months before.
The research also found that four out of every five anti-LGBT+ hate crimes go unreported, with younger LGBT+ people particularly reluctant to go to police.