26th November 1986 – 24th August 2007
Sophie Lancaster was a young English woman who was murdered for belonging to the goth/alternative subculture.
Along with her boyfriend, Robert, Sophie was the victim of an unprovoked attack by a group of teenagers who singled the couple out for belonging to the goth subculture. After a sustained attack, which included several kicks to their heads leaving them so disfigured they could not be identified, the group left Sophie and Robert for dead and bragged about the attack to their friends. A witness called the police and the pair were taken to hospital. Whilst Robert recovered from his injuries Sophie slipped into a coma and never woke up. Of the group of attackers, two were sentenced to life imprisonment for murder.
The attackers claim to have attacked the group because they were “moshers, wierdos and freaks” a phrase which has been taken up by Sophie’s mother who set up a charity in her daughter’s name aimed at raising awareness of subculture hate crime. The charity, Stamp Out Prejudice Hatred and Intolerance Everywhere, works to provide education and training on subcultures and anti-bullying and is working toward changing the law in Great Britain to include attacks on members of subcultures as hate crimes. The work of the charity resulted in Greater Manchester police creating “Sophie’s Law” which required crimes against goth and alternative subcultures be recorded and treated with the same severity as crimes against those of other races, sexuality and religions.
Sophies’ death hit the goth community hard and there have been countless tributes from musicians, writers and film makers across the world. She has become a household name and a symbol for those who feel alienated for belonging to subcultures that are considered outside the norm.
Through her mother’s tireless charity work Sophie’s memory lives on and the law named after her continues to protect others who are bullied for being different. Sophie died of her injuries on this day 2007.
A Prayer for Sophie Lancaster:
Heavenly Father we continue to mourn the death of Sophie. We pray for her friends and family who struggle with their grief and give you thanks for the tireless work of her mother through the S.O.P.H.I.E. charity. We pray that you soften the hearts of hatred and turn them towards reconciliation between different subcultures. We pray also for forgiveness for those who commit crimes against members of subcultures and pray your protection on wierdos, moshers and freaks around the world. Through your most Holy Name we pray. Amen
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For more information about Sophie’s charity please visit their website here.