Friday, April 8, 2011

Sophie Lancaster

There are no words to describe such a loss made by violent brutality. No words that I can think of, my mind just blanks out and feels a wrenching deep kind of sadness.

In 2007 a young woman named Sophie Lancaster and her boyfriend, Robert Maltby, were chosen as random targets of discrimination and a vicious hate crime was committed against them as they were walking through a park. A group of teenagers that were hopped up on alcohol beat Robert down before turning on Sophie, who dropped to cradle and protect her boyfriend's head. Sophie and Robert were mauled, their heads stomped on before the attackers fled the scene, the ambulance had a hard time even discerning if they were male or female. The attack is said to be provoked because the young 20 year old couple was dressed in an alternative gothic style.

Sophie died 13 days after the attack, she was subject to a coma and the family decided it was time to let her pass.

The 15-17 year old attackers have been sentenced to jail for a period of 16 years.

Living comfortably everyday is something to be considered a blessing, it is extremely hard for some of us to imagine that such hate crimes could be possible in this day in age. Random, senseless, violent, thuggish acts of prejudice.

The Sophie Lancaster Foundation was founded in her memory and is introducing tolerance programs into schools along with campaigning for the UK hate crime legislation to include people from 'alternative lifestyles' or of 'lifestyle and dress.'

I'm sharing this information in the hope that her story spreads. In the hope for us to raise our children with beliefs of tolerance. To keep alive the memory of a young girl who only wanted to express her creativity through her appearance. Please help us live in a culture of love and understanding, not of hate and intolerance. Let history not repeat itself. Not ever again.

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