Have You Ever Been Hit By a Stranger?

Not hit on, but been the victim of a random act of violence?

The other day, I was riding a bus in Vienna. I was standing in the bus, and a woman hit me in the arm as she walked by. It was clearly intentional (although not particularly painful).

I was more surprised than anything else–why would a stranger just hit another stranger? But then I thought back and it’s happened to me before, and it’s happened to friends that I’ve been with. One time, I was walking down the street with a friend, and a man punched her in the arm as we walked by. No explanation. The only commonality to these stories is that I’ve only heard of this happen to friends who are also minorities when they are in Europe.

Of course, it’s possible that I was unconsciously violating some social norm in Austria and the woman was trying to shame me. Or I could just have a really annoying face/body that just screams to be hit. But I’m curious: have you ever been hit by a stranger for no apparent reason? If so, what was the context?

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