Gang attacks couple returning from Pride parade
A woman and her partner were attacked by a gang of five men as they made their way home from the Belfast Pride festival.
The 40-year-old victim and her male partner were assaulted in the My Lady's Road area of Belfast at around 3am on Sunday.
Writing on their Facebook page, The 343 - a feminist-led, queer art space in east Belfast - stated that the victim is a volunteer at the charity and shared a picture of her bloodied hands.
It's alleged that the attackers said to the woman's partner to "keep your b**** in check" before punching her in the face and stamping on her.
The Facebook post explained: "When she resisted they punched her in the face, stamped on her and left her bleeding.
"So long as we cannot walk safely on our streets, we must continue to protest to help each other and rid misogyny and violence from our city."
The post was shared over 1,000 times and drew a range of comments expressing anger and sympathy over the attack.
Alliance party leader Naomi Long commented: "This is utterly shocking.
"Genuinely hard to imagine the kind of 'men' who would do this to anyone let alone a woman.
"Sickening, not least after a day of celebration of love and kindness and inclusion.
"Is there anything we can do to help the couple who were attacked?"
Meanwhile, Belfast City councillor Peter McReynolds told the Belfast Telegraph that the attack was "very worrying" due to the violent nature of the attack.
"Most public representatives would condemn whatever took place following Pride," the Alliance representative said.
"Pride went very successfully, it was very well turned out and it was probably the biggest one I have been to.
"It was a very joyous and happy occasion but this was a very sad thing to see, especially given the grotesque and violent nature of the photograph.
"It's very, very worrying, especially given the words that were used by the individual as well. It was very misogynistic."
The PSNI is appealing for witnesses.
Inspector James Ellson said: "At approximately 3am on Sunday, August 4, a 40-year-old female and 39-year-old male were assaulted by a group of men who are believed to be in their 20s.
"The female was treated by Northern Ireland Ambulance Service for her injuries which are not believed to be life threatening.
"We are appealing for anyone who may have witnessed the assault or who may have information which can assist with the investigation to contact detectives in Belfast on 101 quoting reference number 385 of 04/08/19."
Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
The charity is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.
This year's Belfast Pride festival attracted tens of thousands of people as the annual parade made its way through the city centre on Saturday.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar also marched in the event.
Belfast Lord Mayor John Finucane led the parade and he helped erect a Pride flag at Belfast City Hall early on Saturday morning.
It was the first time a Pride flag had been flown from the landmark building.
Belfast's first Pride parade was held in 1991.