A demonstrator in New York holds up a photo of Christina Yuna Lee during a February 14 rally protesting violence against Asian Americans.

Attacks on Asian American women are igniting a conversation about public safety

Updated 12:48 PM ET, Tue March 15, 2022

(CNN)What hit Hong Lee so hard about the killing of Christina Yuna Lee was how easily it could have been her.

Late one night in February, Christina took a car back to her New York Chinatown apartment, where a man followed her up six flights of stairs and forced himself into her home. She cried out desperately for help, but before anyone could reach her, she was stabbed dozens of times to her death.
Christina was an Asian American woman around Hong's age. They shared a mutual friend. And Hong, too, had an experience that left her afraid for her life -- a memory that has been fresh on her mind lately given the string of Asian American women who have been killed in recent weeks.
Michelle Go was pushed to her death on the New York City subway tracks. GuiYing Ma died from her injuries after being struck repeatedly in the head with a rock last year in Queens. Julia Li was killed while driving in St. Paul, Minnesota. Mary Ye, a spa worker in Albuquerque, New Mexico, was shot and killed during an attempted robbery. Fang Sihui, a spa owner in the same city, was killed under similar circumstances just three weeks earlier. All the while, the trauma from last year's Atlanta spa shootings still felt raw.
Hong Lee became an advocate for victims of anti-Asian violence after her own experience with racism.