Avon and Somerset Police are looking for witnesses after a woman in her 20s was violently attacked in a homophobic attack in Yeovil.
The woman, has not been named, was walking towards the Pen Mill trading estate on the Lyde Road at around 1am on Monday (24 May) when three men started hurling homophobic abuse at her.
The men then chased her onto Vale Road where they violently assaulted her until she lost consciousness. She called a friend who alerted police after she came round.
Local police discovered the woman on Vale Road, and she was taken to a nearby hospital where she was treated for cuts and bruises.
Avon and Somerset Police are currently initiating house-to-house inquiries in the area and are examining CCTV footage in a bid to find the woman’s attackers.
Police are asking anyone who was in the are at the time of the attack who might have dashcam footage to call 101 quoting the reference number 5221113452.
Those with information on the assailants have been asked to call emergency services. People can also offer anonymous tips to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via their Anonymous Online Form.
Homophobic attacks are on the rise – but not all LGBT+ people trust the police
Anti-LGBT+ hate crimes have been on the rise in the UK in recent years. Figures published by the Home Office in October 2020 showed that sexual orientation hate crimes increased 19 per cent to 15,835 over the preceding year, while hate crimes against trans people increased by 16 per cent to 2,450.
Galop, a charity that campaigns against the violence and abuse of LGBT+ people, published a report on 17 May which found that only one in three LGBT+ hate crime victims are able to access the support they need afterwards.
The report also found that just one in eight LGBT+ hate crime victims actually report the incident to police, with mistrust of law enforcement authorities a major barrier to justice.
Half of those who didn’t tell police said their reasoning was that officers wouldn’t do anything, while a third reported being afraid of police.