Two children were surrounded and attacked by a group of youths who shouted homophobic and transphobic abuse as they tried to help a half-conscious drunk girl in a park.
The victims, aged 11 and 14, were walking through Central Park in Liscard, Liverpool on Thursday (12 August) when they encountered a heavily intoxicated girl, the Liverpool Echo reports.
After calling an ambulance for the girl the group she was with allegedly became verbally abusive towards them, shouting anti-LGBT+ slurs.
“I was told by the ambulance operator to follow her because she ran off,” one of the victims told the paper. “About half an hour later, I was still following her and they were still shouting the same language at us.”
The group reportedly surrounded the two victims on bikes, spitting at them and hitting them in the head, knees, ankles and legs. Both victims attended hospital for their injuries and were left extremely shaken by the incident.
Tragically the children said that for young LGBT+ people, this sort of abuse is part of their daily life.
“It’s a constant thing whenever I go out with friends,” one explained. “We’re called slurs but we don’t tend to report it, because it’s such a common thing.
“I want people to know this isn’t just a story, this is regular. We deal with it on a daily basis.”
Liverpool sees surge in homophobic violence
The incident is the latest in a spate of anti-LGBT+ attacks in Liverpool over the summer that has seen queer people beaten in broad daylight, subjected to disgusting abuse and left fearing for their lives.
The disturbing trend was highlighted by Reclaim Pride Liverpool, a movement formed to fight back against the surge of violence and corporate rainbow-washing in the city.
The group condemned the latest attack on Twitter, saying: “We are deeply saddened and angered to see yet another homophobic attack in Merseyside. Anti LGBTQ+ hate crime on Merseyside has risen over 900 per cent since 2014.”
They urged the community to join them for a protest in Derby Square on 18 September.
We are deeply saddened and angered to see yet another homophobic attack in Merseyside
Anti LGBTQ+ hate crime on Merseyside has risen over 900% since 2014
— Reclaim Pride Liverpool (@ReclaimPrideLVR) August 16, 2021
With tensions rising, Merseyside Police have urged anyone with information about the attack to come forward urgently.
“This was an appalling incident leaving two children injured and we are working to find those responsible and bring them to justice,” detective inspector Barbara Hebden told the Echo.
“Everyone in Merseyside has the right to go about their daily business without the fear of being subjected to verbal or physical abuse based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, and we remain committed to ensuring they can.
“I would take this opportunity to urge any victim of hate crime on Merseyside to please come forward and let us know. We have a dedicated team of hate crime co-ordinators who will make sure you will be supported at every step as sensitively as possible.”