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

Women on TikTok describe getting punched in the face in NYC
TikTok

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.

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

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

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

“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.”

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.