A cry of outrage over injustice has been sweeping the Internet early on Monday, November 26, 2012. There was an assault in Mobile County, Alabama, on Thanksgiving Day, on a beautiful, 23-year-old mother, Mallory Owens. Sadly, after what supporters are calling a hate crime, the young lesbian’s life has been changed forever.
Mallory was celebrating Thanksgiving by going to her girlfriend’s family dinner as an invited guest. It was there that she was attacked by her girlfriend’s brother, Travis Hawkins, Jr.
Images that show Mallory before and after the brutal assault are available on the Facebook group, Justice Today for Mallory. The group was started by Sonia Mason, a community activist and owner of The Red Carpet in Pensacola, Florida. Justice Today for Mallory is a way that concerned friends and activists are connecting and helping to get the word out. Mallory’s story has been shared now by groups like Stop Teenage Suicide and other equality groups.
Travis Hawkins, Jr. has been arrested, charged, and released on bail for second-degree assault. The injuries Mallory sustained include bleeding of the brain and skull fractures. She has already had to endure reconstructive facial surgeries because of her crushed cheek bones, as reported by Mason. She suffered other injuries as well, and, as it is stated on her page, it “at best was an attempted murder.”
Mallory Owens now faces a long road to recovery. The photographs of her injuries are shocking and heartbreaking to see. The physical and emotional pain she is feeling must be enormous.
A petition is currently available on Change.org that is asking Ashley Rich, the Mobile County District Attorney, to bring Travis Hawkins, Jr. to justice. It has reached 1,500 signatures as of the morning of Monday, November 26. Among the comments from signers of the petition include this observance from Meredith Grant, “Because of the brutality and nature of the assault, if this young man is not held accountable for this, it will be a mockery of justice and he, more than likely, will continue to batter women. Mallory’s injuries are severe, and the punishment should be likewise.”
Another signer, Victoria Lankford, of Birmingham, Alabama, stated regarding the signing of the petition, “It’s very important to me, because it’s just flat out wrong, and it is a ‘Hate’ crime.”
After a cry from the supporters of Mallory who flooded their Facebook page with requests for a report on the tragedy, WKRG, a local news station, is reporting on Mallory’s attack on their 12 p.m. news broadcast, four days after the incident. WKRG states, “The family of Mallory Owens says was beat on Thanksgiving day by her girlfriend’s brother. The Owens family is calling this a hate crime.”
The family wants justice to be served. So does the local community in Mobile County and the larger community of supporters on Facebook and Change.org who are rallying for justice for Mallory.
Sadly, the prejudiced attitudes that many gay people face locally is reflected in this public comment on the WKRG page by someone who calls himself Benjamin Francis Cooley, “…I do not support homosexuality in any form. It is wrong no matter how many think it’s right, wrong is wrong. I have no sympathy for her if she was beaten up for being lesbian. Justice served.” Wow, that is frightening. We have people publicly proclaiming that assaulting someone for simply being homosexual is justice? I think we all deserve equal rights and protection from violence.
The supporters of Mallory far outnumber the bigotry that is spewed by a few prejudiced people. I will provide updates as I find and receive them here at Yahoo! and at RobinRaven.com. A young woman should not have experienced this senseless violence, and we stand up to seek justice for Mallory.