By Julie Moult
Last updated at 9:21 PM on 19th October 2009
Abused: The attack on Marsha Coupe left her with a black eye
A woman who claims to have been beaten up because she is overweight is campaigning to see discrimination against fat people outlawed.
Marsha Coupe, 53 was attacked on a train by a woman who began verbally abusing her for her size.
‘I was returning home one night on a train and a woman sat across from me started kicking me and said, Hey fattie! You should not be on the train, you need two seats, she said.
Mrs Coupe, a marketing manager, was left shaken and badly bruised after the attack in May last year.
‘I had probably 30 to 40 bruises over my chest and my neck.
I was terrified I was going to lose my eye.
‘London prides itself on being diverse yet there is almost a zero-tolerance on anyone of size.
You cannot walk the streets without being verbally or physically assaulted.
The American who now lives in Hayes, Kent and weighs 22 stone was travelling home from London late at night in May last year when she was set upon.
She has now joined forces with a group of other women to lobby mayor Boris Johnson to make the capital more fat friendly.
In the US city of San Francisco it is illegal to discriminate against people because of their size and the women are hoping to see similar moves introduced.
Cinemas and restaurants have to provide larger seats, and doctors are even asked to ‘respect the wishes’ of fat patients who do not want to discuss their weight.
The plight of overweight people in the capital was illustrated on a BBC documentary Inside Out aired last night.
Eve Hart, 25, an emergency services phone operator from Ilford, Essex told how she was often turned away from nightclubs because she is overweight.
‘When you go out, you get ready and look your best, and then get abuse. I feel more embarrassed than anything for my friends than myself, she said.
Kathryn Szrodecki, an overweight presenter from Fulham, travelled to San Francisco in the documentary to research the law and is determined to make similar changes in London.
She says: “Mayor Boris, I have seen the law in action. I have my scales with me and I’m on my way to your office to begin the transformation of London.”