Bishop's Stortford Ryanair flight attendant and girlfriend battered by homophobic thugs
A Ryanair flight attendant living in Bishop's Stortford and her girlfriend were left covered in blood after a horrifying homophobic attack on a London bus.
Uruguayan medical student and playwright Melania Geymonat is working for the budget airline at Stansted Airport during a sabbatical year.
She was on the top deck of a bus with her American partner Chris after a night out in West Hampstead in the early hours of Thursday, May 30 when a group of young men began harassing them when they discovered the women were a couple.
Melania, 29, said the violence erupted after they refused to kiss for the thugs, who also made crude sexual gestures at the women. Chris was attacked first then Melania was beaten when she tried to defend her.
She said in a Facebook post: "In an attempt to calm things down, I started making jokes. I thought this might make them go away. Chris even pretended she was sick, but they kept on harassing us, throwing us coins and becoming more enthusiastic about it.
"The next thing I know is that Chris is in the middle of the bus fighting with them. On an impulse, I went over there only to find her face bleeding and three of them beating her up.
"The next thing I know is I'm being punched. I got dizzy at the sight of my blood and fell back. I don't remember whether or not I lost consciousness. Suddenly the bus had stopped, the police were there and I was bleeding all over."
Melania spoke out about her ordeal to raise awareness of violence against women and gay people.
She said: "What upsets me the most is that violence has become a common thing, that sometimes it's necessary to see a woman bleeding after having been punched to feel some kind of impact.
"I'm tired of being taken as a sexual object, of finding out these situations are usual, of gay friends who were beaten up just because..."
Both women were taken to hospital for treatment for facial injuries. Melania is waiting to hear if her nose is broken.
A picture showing the bloody injuries they suffered during the vicious attack has gone viral on Facebook and Twitter.
The four thugs also stole a bag and phone from the couple. Metropolitan police are investigating and have appealed for information about the attackers. Melania said one of them spoke Spanish and the others had British accents.