The number of hate crimes with Asian-American victims reported to the New York Police Department jumped to 28 in 2020, from just three the previous year, though activists and police officials say many additional incidents were not classified as hate crimes or went unreported.
Asian-Americans are grappling with the anxiety, fear and anger brought on by the attacks, which activists and elected officials say were fueled early in the pandemic.
These attacks have lasting effects, said Kellina Craig-Henderson, who works for the National Science Foundation and has studied the psychological impact of hate crimes. She said that people targeted because of their race and ethnicity can suffer ailments like post-traumatic stress disorder, often more acutely than victims of other crimes.
She added that hate crimes reverberate through communities and can further marginalize them.
Yen Yen Pong, 37, bought pepper spray after a maskless stranger accosted her last April in Queens, yelling racist remarks about the virus. After Ms. Pong tried to take a photograph of him, he snatched her cellphone and shattered it on the pavement. Ms. Pong, who works at an asset management company, said she thought Asian-American women were particularly at risk, an observation supported by Stop AAPI Hate data showing that Asian-American women in New York were accosted three times as often as men.
Several Asian-Americans who were victims of attacks in New York last year and reported them to the police said the scars were lasting.
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