Former Bishop's Stortford woman who was victim of violent attack on bus backs new law to make misogyny a hate crime
A former Bishop's Stortford woman who was the victim of a violent attack on a London bus has backed calls for misogyny to be a hate crime.
Melania Geymonat, a former Ryanair flight attendant at Stansted Airport, and her then-girlfriend Christine were abused by a gang when they refused to kiss for the youths' entertainment.
Photos of the pair, battered and bloody after the incident on May 30, 2019 , caused shockwaves on social media around the world.
They have now joined forces with a former police chief, MPs, religious leaders and Citizens UK charity to press the Government to introduce a new law to combat prejudice against females.
Currently, hate crime legislation applies only to offences where the perpetrator is motivated by hostility or demonstrates hostility towards the victim's disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or transgender identity.
In a statement, Melania, a qualified doctor from Uruguay who has since moved to Barcelona in Spain to train as a surgeon , and Chris said: "We were beaten up by a group of young men who demanded that we kiss. It started off with aggressive harassment and quickly escalated into assault and robbery.
"In the wake of being subjected to a homophobic hate crime, we have been looking to find ways to ensure that we prevent other, more vulnerable people from having to go through the horrors we did."
A court increased the six-month youth referral order imposed on a 16-year-old boy by two months for his part in their ordeal because his actions were also a hate crime.
The teenager and two other youths admitted targeting them, and his accomplices made lesbophobic gestures and threw coins at the couple.
A new study by Citizens UK indicates 45% of women have been threatened with sexual violence compared with 16% of men, while 43% of women have suffered a sexual assault compared with 12% of men.
Labour MP for Walthamstow Stella Creasey triggered a review by the Law Commission and public consultation is about to start, while in Scotland the legislative process has already begun.
Nottinghamshire Police made history in 2016 by becoming the first force in the country to recognise misogyny as a hate crime.