A lesbian couple who were subjected to a horrific attack have criticised how they are seen as "sexual objects".

Melania Geymonat, 28, and her American partner Chris, 29, said they were punched and robbed following an evening in West Hampstead, north west London, in the early hours of May 30.

Ms Geymonat, a doctor from Uruguay and a Ryanair flight attendant, said that the incident was primarily "an attack towards women, and then after homosexual women", revealing that she was told to "get the hell out of the country" by her friends after the incident.

In an interview with Channel 4 News she said the attackers firstly saw them as "sexual objects" who were "there to entertain them". Her partner Chris said that a gang of young men saw they were a couple - as they were holding hands - and demanded they kiss before attacking the pair.

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When asked if she still feels safe in public, Chris said: "If anything I'm more confident in myself because I know I will stand up for myself."

Chris also said the reason their attack had caught so much attention was that the picture was "very striking", depicting "two white women who were tidily packaged into sympathetic victims".

When the interviewer brought up that Boris Johnson seemed to be the most likely person to be the next Prime Minister, and referenced comments he had previously made comparing homosexual marriage to "bestiality", Chris said that the Tory frontrunner was not "fit to lead anything, much less the United Kingdom".

Geymonat and her Chris have criticised how they are seen as 'sexual objects'. Photo / Channel 4
Geymonat and her Chris have criticised how they are seen as 'sexual objects'. Photo / Channel 4

She said that Johnson was not the only person ascending to power "with his views and his ideology", and he was just "one person in a growing climate".

Five teenagers aged between 15 and 18 have been charged with robbery and aggravated grievous bodily harm. All five have been bailed until early July.

Ms Geymonat said that she simply does not know if she will feel confident holding her partner's hand on the bus in the early hours of the morning anymore, revealing to The Times that her friends had told her to "get the hell out of the country" following the incident.

Speaking to the paper, Ms Geymonat said: "In the first place they came towards us because we were seen as sexual objects.

"It's not the first time this happens to me that I'm with a girlfriend or on a date and men tend to be excited by watching.

"That's one of the things that really annoyed me. I'm 28 so it has been ten years that I've seen this. We are not performing. It feels really humiliating to be treated [like that]."

When asked if she thought the portrayal of lesbians as a male fantasy in pornography had an effect on some young men's views of gay women in real life, Ms Geymonat said she did think porn 'plays its own part' in contributing to the treatment of homosexual women as objects who exist for the sake of the male gaze.

Both women were taken to hospital for treatment for facial injuries. Miss Geymonat said one of the men spoke Spanish and the others had British accents.

Ms Geymonat, who moved to the UK in February and is on a year's sabbatical from her medical studies, previously said she had felt safe as a gay woman in London.

She said the police had been "extremely good" in dealing with the incident.

Theresa May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn both condemned the attack.

Mrs May said: 'This was a sickening attack and my thoughts are with the couple affected.

'Nobody should ever have to hide who they are or who they love and we must work together to eradicate unacceptable violence towards the LGBT community.'

Mr Corbyn labelled the attack 'absolutely shocking, saying: 'We must not, and will not, accept this homophobic and misogynist violence in our society.

'Solidarity to Melania and Chris, and to all in the LGBT+ community for everything they endure for simply being who they are.'

London Mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted: 'This was a disgusting, misogynistic attack. Hate crimes against the LGBT+ community will not be tolerated in London.'

Constituency MP Tulip Siddiq added: "Horrified to see this homophobic attack against two women simply trying to enjoy a night out in West Hampstead.

"There can be no excuses, no space, for such obscene behaviour. My full solidarity is with these women and the UK's LGBT community."

And Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "This is appalling. Everyone has the right to love and I was proud to support equal marriage."