Heulwen Rowcliffe was punched and kicked by two men over the T-shirt she was wearing.
Heulwen Rowcliffe, a Welsh woman recently diagnosed with breast cancer, was attacked while walking her dog by two men who targeted her because of a T-shirt she wearing with an LGBTQ+ message.
Heulwen had recently had surgery and radiotherapy to treat her cancer.
The attack happened last Friday (14 August) in Heulwen’s hometown of Lampeter, Ceredigion, on a footpath near the River Teifi.
Heulwen told the BBC that she was approached by two men who pushed her to the ground, before proceeding to punch and kick her. As the men attacked her, they made comments about the message on her T-shirt which read: “Yes, my girlfriend gave this to me.”
She sustained an injured back and scrapes on her face following the attack. Speaking to the BBC, Heulwen said she’d been attacked before in different areas, but was “really shocked” to have been attacked in Lampeter.
“This is not the first time,” she explained. “I’ve been assaulted a few times just because of how I look and what I wear. Not in this area, but in New Quay and Carmarthen.
“There’s been a few other cases as well in Lampeter, but people don’t tend to come forward to report them and I thought it was about time someone took a stand.”
She urged other LGBTQ+ people who had been a victim of a hate crime to come forward to report it.
Speaking to Wales Online, she said that the two men appeared to be in their twenties, and that they had attempted to rob her. “I was on the floor and I was trying to get to my phone to call the police, but then they tried taking the phone so I put it back in my pocket,” she said. “Because I was wearing tight jeans they couldn’t get the phone out and they ran off.”
Dyfed-Powys Police said that they were investigating the attack as a hate crime, and urged people to come forward.