A gay couple has spoken out after they were brutally attacked by a gang of people outside a gay nightclub in England.
Rob Morris and Dan Wilson “thought they were going to die” after being assaulted by five men outside Colors nightclub in Basildon, England.
The attack, which took place in the early hours of October 10, left both men with serious injuries, Echo News reports.
“It was terrifying, we didn’t know if they had any weapons,” Wilson said, adding that Morris was “dressed in drag at the time. We knew straightaway they were coming straight for us.”
Their attackers approached them after they left Colors to head home. The couple said they were kicked, punched, and stamped on just a short distance from their front door, with the men “shouting homophobic chants,” according to Wilson’s father.
Wilson said their injuries could have been worse if a passing couple hadn’t intervened to stop the attack.
“We’re covered in cuts and bruises, and I’ve got cracked ribs,” Wilson said. “Rob came off worse, we had [our] heads stamped on by them. It was horrible.
“We’re so grateful for the couple who stepped in to help. They prevented it getting any worse,” he continued. “This kind of thing just shouldn’t be happening. Basildon is meant to be promoting the LGBT community.”
The couple took themselves to hospital following the attack. They were discharged later that day.
Making matters worse, Morris and Wilson said that they tried to contact Essex Police five times immediately following the attack to no avail.
Instead, police eventually made contact with the couple on Monday, Oct. 11.
Essex Police told Echo News that officers are “investigating after a man was assaulted in Southernhay, Basildon in the early hours of Sunday 10 October.”
“The victim sustained a number of injuries after being attacked by a group of five people who also shouted homophobic abuse at him,” the spokesperson said. “An officer has been allocated to the investigation. He has been in contact with the victim and our enquiries are ongoing.”
Addressing the lack of police attendance immediately after the attack, the spokesperson said, “We know how distressing these incidents are and we try to respond to as many calls as possible with officers attending as many incidents as possible.
“However, a number of factors could impact on our ability to respond including the number of incidents taking place within the district, or within the county, that require a high level resource,” they continued. “There may also be a large number of emergency calls that officers are attending. At the time this incident was called into us, all our available officers were deployed elsewhere.”
The attack is the latest in a series of assaults on gay men in England, which has seen the number of reported homophobic hate crimes treble between 2015 and 2020 — although LGBTQ charities say the statistics are only the “tip of the iceberg,” BBC News reported last year.
Earlier this month, a gay man was beaten in the face with a wine bottle for holding hands with another man in public, while another was punched in the face so powerfully that he was knocked unconscious and required surgery to prevent him losing sight in one of his eyes.
In August, two gay men were left with multiple fractures after they were beaten unconscious by a gang of teenagers in a grocery store parking lot.
People took to the streets of Liverpool, one of England’s major cities, in June to protest a recent spate of anti-LGBTQ attacks in the city, with police increasing their patrols to try and combat the violence.
North of the border in Scotland, a married gay couple was assaulted in the middle of a busy street earlier this year, leaving one of the men requiring hospital treatment.
Four men approached the couple and started to kick and punch them, while passersby watched, laughed, and recorded the attack on their phones.
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