Women in NYC are getting randomly punched in the face—and no one knows why


If you’ve heard about women in New York City getting punched in the face, no, it’s not some weird urban legend. More and more women are taking to social media with stories of men punching them in broad daylight, and no one really knows what’s going on or why it’s happening.

There are some similarities between the stories. Most of the women say the attacks happen during the day. Many of them say they were on the phone when they were punched. They’re almost always punched by men.

@halleykate ♬ original sound – halley

In the videos they share, the women often appear shaken and say that the attacks left them traumatized, or worse: injured.

Related: Domestic violence affects 1 in 4 women. Here’s how to spot the signs

@pikapikanab

Getting punched in NYC was not on my agenda today. This happened to me at around 1 pm and I had work immediately after. #fyp #fypage

♬ original sound – Selena Pikanab🍉

One woman said a man hit her with a heavy bag of items and left her with a concussion.

@variouscomments

Women Punched In NYC. Women in NYC are reporting being punched in the face by an unknown assailant. Is this a part of The Knock Out Game? The game is a controversial viral trend that involves punching an unsuspecting bystander in the face with the goal of rendering them unconscious with a single blow. Since these seem to be occuring very close together in location and around the same time, some believe it is organized. #knockoutchallenge #knockoutgame #nyc #breakingnews

♬ Epic News – DM Production

Another woman, Mikayla Toninato, said that after the attack, she’s been scared to leave her apartment, which has impacted her education.

Related: Navigating pregnancy as a survivor: The intersection of trauma and birth

“I’m really scared to go back to school,” she told the Today show. “I’ve just been delaying as long as possible, but I’ll have to go back eventually.”

@mikaylatoninato

@halley i quite literally feel your pain this was so insane

♬ original sound – mikayla

This is happening despite the fact that overall crime in New York City has been on the decline. Police there say that shootings, murders and other crimes, like grand larceny, have been falling as of late. However, misdemeanor assault is one crime that has seen a statistical increase — it’s up 10.3% since last year, and 15.7% since two years ago. 

New York police made one arrest in connection to the punching cases on March 27, and say they’re investigating another incident. But NYC police won’t confirm whether they’re investigating all the incidents shared on social media, or whether they’re connected to one another. Is it a crime spree? A weird social media trend? No one really knows. We do know that women deserve to be able to exist in the world without fear of being physically attacked, and this needs to stop.



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