The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

Women facing random acts of violence in NYC highlights discourse around danger

As a woman, there are many things we feel unsafe doing. We feel unsafe getting gas, walking alone at parks, going shopping alone, among other activities. These undertakings still feel uncomfortable during broad daylight hours. 

In New York City from March 25-27, there was a man (or multiple men) randomly punching women in the face with no rhyme or reason. There has been a pattern: the people getting punched are women, mostly white and 20 to 35 years old. These instances gained widespread recognition when many of the women posted on TikTok leading to discourse on the app and off. 

All of the headlines are focused on women getting punched, assaulted and having concussions, but where are the headlines that attribute this violence to being committed by men? Headlines should reflect the truth and show that these actions are not random, but heinous crimes committed by men. It is never a woman’s fault if she is walking to her destination and is violently attacked by a man.

Mikayla Toninato, a student at Parsons School of Design, was badly injured from being punched. Her jaw was broken on both sides and she lost three teeth. She was just walking home from school.

Another woman who was punched, Olivia Brand, shared a similar story on TikTok.

“I literally just got punched by some man on the sidewalk. He goes, ‘Sorry,’ and then punches me in the head,” said Brand.

A TikTok influencer, known by the name Halley Kate, posted a video after being attacked. She said the attacked caused her to fall to the ground and blackout.

A man, Skiboky Stora, 40, has been arrested in Kate’s attack, but NYC police are unsure at this time if he is tied to all instances of violent punching that have been reported. The same man was previously arrested in December for two other alleged assaults. Kate’s attack will be his third arrest in the past six months. 

The justice system is failing women by letting these violent individuals back onto the streets, resulting in the same crimes being committed against women. This type of violence is unacceptable and can never be justified in any instance. This goes to show that a woman can be doing something as simple as getting coffee in broad daylight and wake up on the ground with a welt on their head the size of a goose egg. 

This begs the question, why aren’t more people stepping in to help these women, and other survivors of assault. If you have a gut feeling that something isn’t right, do something. If you see a woman being followed by a man and you can make her feel safer in any way, step in. It is the bare minimum in making the world a safer place for women. 

Sometimes making a woman feel safer is as simple as not walking too closely behind her. Sometimes it looks like walking a woman out to her car if you notice someone following her. In more serious situations, you should alert security if you see something that needs to be further looked into. By doing these simple things, you could save someone’s life. 

No one, especially vulnerable women walking down a populated street, deserves to fear for their lives at any time. 

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