In Zhytomyr region homophobe attacked a beloved of the freelance employee of the Ministry of Social Policy
Natalia Skoda, girlfriend of the freelance spokeperson of the Ministry of Social Policy, was beaten up on the basis of hatred for LGBT people. The police “tried their best to shrug off” the victims.
As reported by Galina Kornienko, coordinator of the Strategy and Advocacy Department of the “Advisers on the Internally Displaced Persons”, on her Facebook page.
Galina and Natalia rented a house in one of the villages of the Malyn district of the Zhytomyr region. They shared the courtyard and summer kitchen with a big, noisy party that rented a room next door. During a picnic one of the men from neighboring party asked Natalia, “where is her man”, and she replied that she does not have a man – she is a lesbian.
“Ten minutes later… I saw that this man threw my wife on the floor and was kicking her, she dodged and ran out into the yard, he ran after her. Later she said that before beating her he said that people like her do not deserve to live, that he will kill and bury her”, – recalls Galina Kornienko.
According to her, she was able to call the police from the third time. They answered her calls, but did not intend to interfere. At the same time, she notes that the police were sent only after she began shouting on the phone. And it took police forty minutes to arrive.
“Do I understand correctly that if I was under a threat of murder and would call for help, then nobody would come”, – she commented.
“Natalia began the testimony. Instead of questions, the policeman gave prematurely prepared statements, – as Galina Kornienko recalls. – Men from the company of attacker were present during Natalia’s conversation with police. They pressured Natalia in front of the police, threatened a little and police officers just ignored all my remarks”.
Galina Kornienko said that the investigator interviewed them in the district department. In addition, they persuaded Natalia to sign a medical examination waiver.
Galina and Natalia managed to initiate criminal after consulting with lawyers. This became possible after threats to file a complaint to the Prosecutor’s Office about the inaction of the police.
According to Galina Kornienko, the assailant told the police that supposedly it was the victim who attacked him, since she “hates men”.
“My wife was beaten in front of a large number of people, because she said she was a lesbian and the police are trying to let things slide. You must first strongly encourage them and know your rights well for the police to begin protecting you. We pay our taxes to those people who do not intend to protect us”, – summarized Kornienko.
According to Anna Leonova, the Executive Director of the Gay Alliance Ukraine, the situation is characterized with cynicism and indifference.
“The horror of the situation is not only in the hatred that served as the motive for the attack, but in the indifference of witnesses and the police to the incident. We are told that Ukrainian legislation protects us sufficiently, but it’s a lie. We are told that the police are professional and unbiased. But this is not true”, – as website Gay Alliance Ukraine has quoted Anna Leonova.
“Last year, the Gay Alliance Ukraine implemented a small project to monitor hate crimes in seven cities of our country. 110 crimes, acts of aggression, discrimination against representatives of the LGBT community were recorded. When we were congratulated on the successful completion of the project, I said that it was only the tip of the iceberg. In reality, there are more instances of attacks, blackmails and discrimination against LGBT people”, – she added.
Meanwhile, Vyacheslav Pechenenko, the Head of the Main Directorate of the National Police of the Zhytomyr region, appointed an official investigation into the actions of the police. He said that criminal proceedings are being investigated under Article 125 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (Intended minor bodily injury) and not under Article 161 “violation of citizens’ equality based on their race, nationality or religious preferences”.