Press Release: Teenagers found guilty following homophobic attack on bus
Three teenage boys have been found guilty of attacking Melania Geymonat and Chris Hannigan, leaving them covered in blood after refusing to kiss on a bus.
Commenting to Galop, Melania Geymonat said:
‘Thank you to Galop for all the support they have kindly given to me. No one should be violated, especially just for being who they are. It is really important in these times of growing social conservatism and intolerance that we fight for our rights that took so long to be achieved.”
Nik Noone, Galop’s Chief Executive said:
‘Melania and Chris have shown enormous bravery. The attack against them is part of a concerning pattern of increased anti-LGBT+ violence. The verdict comes at a time when Home Office figures show an alarming increase in anti-LGBT hate. Transphobic hate crime increased by 37% last year. Sexual orientation rose by 25%. Meanwhile, disability rose by 14%, race by 11% and religious hate by 3%. The figures cover the increase in recorded hate crime between 2017/18 and 2018/19.
Meanwhile, recent Galop polling showed the surprising result that young people have higher levels of anti-LGBT prejcudice than other age groups, and that one in ten people still think that LGBT people are ‘dangerous’ to other people and could be ‘cured’.
The impact of hate crime is significant and traumatic. When you are targeted because of your identity it is vital to have access to specialist, trauma informed and empowerment based services to provide support through the journey of coping and recovery.
We hope that this verdict brings some solace to Melania & Chris and their friends and family, and sends a strong message that anti-LGBT+ prejudice will not be tolerated.’
1) Galop is the UK’s LGBT+ anti-violence charity. For the past 35 years we have been providing advice, support and advocacy to LGBT+ victims and campaigning to end anti-LGBT+ violence and abuse. Galop works within three key areas; hate crime, domestic abuse and sexual violence. Our purpose is to make life safe, just and fair for LGBT+ people. We work to help LGBT+ people achieve positive changes to their current situation, through practical and emotional support, to develop resilience and to build lives free from violence and abuse.
2) The Home Office data referred to above is available from https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/839172/hate-crime-1819-hosb2419.pdf.
3) The polling refereed to above is available from www.galop.org.uk/hate-crime-report-2019.
Whilst the majority of people polled were supportive of LGBT+ equality, the results revealed concerning proportions of negative views: 1 in 10 people thought that LGBT+ people were ‘dangerous’ to other people.
· 1 in 10 people said that being LGBT+ could be ‘cured’.
· 1 in 5 people said being LGBT+ was ‘immoral or against their beliefs’. This rose to 1 in 4 among 18-24 year olds, higher than other age groups.
· Around 3 in 5 people responded very positively about having LGBT+ people as neighbours. 1 in 5 people showed reluctance to the idea of LGB+ neighbours, and more than 1 in 4 to trans neighbours.
· 1 in 2 people agreed that hate crime has higher impact than other types of crime, and that LGBT+ people modify their behaviour in public to avoid being targeted.
· However, only 4 in 10 thought that violence against LGBT+ people is a problem in the UK
· The polling was based on a representative sample of 1,617 people from across the UK.
The polling was based on a representative sample of 1,617 people from across the UK. Quota sampling was utilised to ensure that respondents were representative of the wider population from within each country (with 5% flexibility) in relation to sex, age, geographical region, and education levels. The poll was conducted by LightSpeed.