This week I’ll leave musings on the well trodden topics of marriage and Mardi Gras to others and focus on an issue that still sadly affects the LGBTI community, as it does many others.

This week’s front-page story is a timely reminder prejudice is still well and truly alive and we’re not immune from some of the homophobic violence we might, naively, believe was a relic of an earlier age.

For those unfamiliar with the story, three women in their 20s were last week verbally assaulted, and one of them punched in the face twice and knocked unconscious, on the corner of Moreland Rd and Sydney Rd, Coburg.

Minding their own business, the three were simply coming home from a night out and were met with unprovoked homophobic abuse and savage violence.
The main victim is deeply shaken, but otherwise okay. She is lucky.

When you look how far Australia has come with attitudes towards LGBTI people it’s easy to forget sometimes that this sort of thing still occurs.
What’s more concerning is that it happens far more often than is reported to police.

In this case, the women involved have spoken to police, however, it’s estimated only about 30 percent of homophobic crime in Victoria is ever reported.
Since the Moreland Rd attack, a flurry of Facebook posts from those who know the victims suggest that attacks of this nature, particularly against women, in the Brunswick and Coburg area are occurring with alarming frequency.

Although easier said than done, anyone who is the victim of any violence, intimidation or abuse needs to report it.

Victoria’s Anti-Violence Project says it receives a higher number of reports of violence or homophobic abuse over the summer months.
So, at the risk of sounding nannying, as we head into the silly season, now’s probably a good time to remind everyone to be aware of their safety, and if trouble does arise — report it.

INFO: melbourne.gllo@police.vic.gov.au
or www.antiviolence.info

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