Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Lesbian Savagely Beaten Unconscious Defending Girlfriend’s Bullied Son

Sondra Scarber, lesbian parent, beaten unconscious by a homophobic father for speaking up for her girlfriend's child.

Sondra Scarber, lesbian parent, beaten unconscious by a homophobic father for speaking up for her girlfriend’s child. [WFAA image].

Mesquite, Texas – A lesbian who spoke up to stop school playground bullies from harassing her girlfriend’s 4-year-old son was attacked for her sexual orientation by an enraged man February 17.  When Sondra Scarber, 27, spoke to the father of a boy who was bullying her lover’s little boy, the man recognized that she was a lesbian.  He assaulted her, shouting homophobic insults, so quickly and savagely that Scarber told WFAA she did not even have time to take her hands out of her pockets to defend herself from his blows.

Scarber’s girlfriend, Hillary Causey, recalled for WFAA the horror of watching her love thrashed mercilessly.  The couple, who have been known each other since childhood, and who have been a couple for the past three years, took their child Jaxon to Seaborn Elementary School’s playground around 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 17, for an outing. When other boys began pushing and shoving the little boy, whom the couple are rearing together, Scarber spoke to a father of one of the harassing boys: “Sondra said, ‘Can you please keep your hands off of him, he’s only four,’” Causey said.  Only when the man realized that the woman speaking out for her child was a lesbian, he went ballistic, shouting epithets and striking Scarber unconscious.  As the Dallas Voice reports, the assailant ignored Scarber’s pleas: “All she kept saying,” Causey recalled, was, “‘I’m a female. I’m a female.’ She never even had time to take her hands out of pockets to try and block herself.”  

Scarber fell unconscious, with a broken jaw and multiple bruises.  Emergency surgery had to repair her jaw with a metal plate, and she faces months of rehabilitation and recovery from her physical injuries, not to mention her psychological wounds from the attack.  The assailant is still at large.

Causey and Scarber have called on the police to investigate the attack as a hate crime, since the attacker flew into a rage about the couple’s sexual orientation.  The Mesquite Police Department, who say that they want to apprehend the suspect, refuse to designate the case as an anti-gay hate crime.  Local gay advocacy groups are pushing for the Mesquite authorities to press the case as a hate crime. Daniel Cates, organizer for the Dallas Chapter of GetEqual, has called for the community to call the Mesquite Police Department “until the phone rings off the wall” to protest the downplaying of the crime.  The Resource Center of Dallas, one of the nation’s largest LGBTQ service centers, issued this statement to the press, which we quote in full:

“Resource Center Dallas denounces the brutal attack of Sondra Scarber at the hands of a man who assaulted her based on her sexual orientation, as first reported February 28 by WFAA-TV (Channel 8). As reported, the circumstances of this case indicate a hate-motivated crime, and that should dissuade the Mesquite Police Department from lessening the severity of any potential criminal charges.

The incident is another example in which words and thoughts lead to destructive actions against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons. The reported violence included anti-gay slurs, followed by violent acts against a lesbian. Had Sondra’s partner not been present, her injuries could have been far more severe.

Anti-gay violence is a serious public health issue.  According to the FBI’s 2011 Hate Crime Report—the most recent available—49 of the 152 hate crimes committed in Texas that year were motivated by anti-gay bias. Nationally, nearly 21 percent of the 6,222 hate crimes committed that same year were motivated by sexual orientation.

The Center calls on the Mesquite Police Department and Chief Derek Rodhe to thoroughly investigate and swiftly arrest the suspects responsible. As leaders in the LGBT community, Resource Center Dallas will be closely monitoring the situation to ensure that justice is carried out.”

Scarber told WFAA that her face is so bruised and swollen, and her jaw so tightly wired shut, that she cannot do much of anything for herself.  “It’s hard for me to stay strong when I see myself in the mirror,” she said. She and Causey have the comfort that their little boy was spared from the bullying that nearly hurt him.  And, they have each other. They are grateful that Scarber is alive.

March 1, 2013 - Posted by | Anti-LGBT hate crime, Beatings and battery, Bullying in schools, gay bashing, GET EQUAL Texas, GLBTQ, Hate Crimes, Heterosexism and homophobia, Lesbian women, LGBTQ, Resource Center of Dallas, Slurs and epithets, Social Justice Advocacy, Texas, Unsolved LGBT Crimes | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

3 Comments

  1. Horrific! This kind of thing reminds me of why I don’t enjoy living in Mesquite.

    Comment by Kyle | March 1, 2013

  2. the man also robbed sondra as he was kicking punching and slapping he took her baseball cap she loves baseball, earings he failed the attment to take her iphone 4,shoes and a cross necklace her choked her with, she has a shattered jaw with a titainum plate connecting the inch and a half he kicked out of place a broken nose and a small part of her cheek concussions on both sides of the back of her head,they will all be getting councling,the man that beat sondra did this in front of his 4 children and his wife the left in a silver chevy impala with a paper tags so if you sold a silver impala to a black male or female in the last few months hillary ran after the man to get any iformation and he had a huge gallon size bag full of weed the man had a botty haircut and the lady had blonde curly hair please contact dective phillips in homiside at the mesquite police department thank you

    Comment by cindy scarber | March 3, 2013

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