23rd January 2020

In_pictures Sunderland woman left bloodied after ‘homophobic attack’

In_pictures Sunderland woman left bloodied after ‘homophobic attack’

In_pictures

in_pictures Charlie GrahamImage copyright
Michelle Storey

Image caption

Charlie Graham suffered facial and leg injuries

A woman was left bloodied after being attacked in Sunderland in what police are treating as a hate crime.

Charlie Graham, 20, was walking to meet a friend when she said she was punched from behind and thrown to the ground.

Ms Graham shared pictures of her injuries on social media and said it was not the first time she had been the target of a homophobic attack.

Northumbria Police said they were treating it as a hate crime and were hunting two men.

The assault took place on the city’s Blackwood Road just before 01:00 GMT on 11 January.

Ms Graham said: “It’s not the first time it has happened and it probably won’t be the last.

“It makes me sick that someone can actually hit a person because of the way they look and they act and their gender.

“It shouldn’t really matter anyway, but, I just keep on getting targeted and it’s one of those things to be honest. I’ve just taken it on the chin.”

Image copyright
Michelle Storey

Image caption

Ms Graham was treated by her mother at home

Ms Graham said she had reported four previous attacks to police, including one in which she was punched after being called a “dyke”, but that “nothing had come of them”.

She said the latest assault had left her suffering panic attacks and fearful of going out.

“It’s scary and does knock you down. But having a loving family has helped,” she added.

A spokesperson for Northumbria Police said: “It was reported that a woman was walking when she was attacked by two males who subjected her to homophobic language and caused injuries to her face, hands and knees.

He said an investigation had been launched and officers were treating the assault as a suspected hate crime.

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