WHEN the photos of bashing victim Issac Keatinge’s horrific injuries were posted online, Penny Gulliver’s gut reaction was to prevent anything happening like this again and will teach Sydney’s LGBTI community how to defend itself.

Keatinge was walking from a house party shortly after midnight on Sunday towards King St in Newtown when he was approached by three men who expressed their disdain at the clothes he was wearing.

 “I was confronted by some straight men who didn’t appreciate the gorgeous gown or make up I was wearing,” he told Same Same.

“After cruel words, things escalated physically. I was pushed and punched rather severely. At some point I stumbled back towards the party and some people outside saw me when I rounded the corner.”

Keatinge was taken to the RPA hospital after the assault to treat injuries to his face and skull.

NSW Police issued a statement today saying it was investigating the crime and Newtown Local Area Commander, Superintendent Simon Hardman said targeting people based on bias related perceptions is unacceptable in today’s society.

“This report is extremely concerning and absolutely unacceptable. NSW Police will follow every avenue of investigation possible,” he said.

“I appeal for anyone who has information about those involved to come forward, and remind people that information can be provided anonymously via Crime Stoppers.

“Police will investigate all motivations for alleged crime, including motivations of bias,” Supt Hardman said.

As soon as 78er and martial arts teacher Penny Gulliver heard what happened she reacted quickly and organised a free self-defence course for people wanting to protect themselves from attacks.

“I’m in this job to prevent these things from happening. I’ll do whatever I can to help my community,” she told Star Observer.

“My courses were born in the gay and lesbian community… it’s very important people are empowered by martial arts the same wayit has for me.”

The free workshop is on Tuesday April 19 at the Erskineville Town Hall and participants will learn skills to protect themselves, to block and anticipate a punch and understand the most likely ways you could be attacked on the street, whether by one or multiple attackers. People attending should wear comfortable clothes they can move around in.

“This is not a course to turn you into Superman but to help you survive and not get injured,” Gulliver said.

“I want people to participate because it could save their lives.”

GLMA Free self-defence course, Tuesday 19 April, 6.30-7.30pm, Erskineville Town Hall, 104 Erskineville Rd. Call or SMS Penny Gulliver to book a spot: 0411 808 451

Anyone with information about the attack on Keatinge should call Crime Stoppers on: 1800 333 000

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