Two brutal killings in the span of less than a month have left Asian American women in New York City on edge. And in metropolitan areas around the country, they say there’s constant reason to be looking over their shoulder.
“I don’t feel like anywhere is safe for me,” said YouMe Lin, 27, a Chinese American woman who has lived in New York City for over six years. “I feel very suffocated.”
Around 4 a.m. Sunday, 35-year-old Christina Yuna Lee was found dead in her bathroom stabbed 40 times after a man, Assamad Nash, allegedly silently followed her up six flights of stairs into her lower Manhattan apartment. When police arrived on the scene, they heard Lee’s screams, but by the time they broke down her steel door, it was too late. Nash was found hiding under her bed, police said.
Her death follows the Jan. 15 killing of Michelle Go, 40, who was pushed in front of an oncoming train at the Times Square subway station. At a vigil held to commemorate her, New York City Mayor Eric Adams said, “I’m recommitted to ensure that this will not happen in our city.”
Several women who live in the city told NBC Asian America that statements like that have felt increasingly hollow. With Lee’s death in her own home, they say their safe spaces around New York are rapidly disappearing.