By Zeeva

On a beautiful Tuesday evening, I boarded the Uptown 4 train towards 14th St.- Union Square. While at the Brooklyn Bridge station on the 4 line, three girls and two boys boarded the train car. They were of African-American descent (approx. 40% of black women report coercive contact of a sexual nature by age 18) and around 14-17 years of age.

The group of teens sat together and started talking, disrupting the peacefulness of the subway car. This made everybody move away, besides me and a few other adults. On the corner of my left eye, one of the teen boys slapped his girlfriend in the face and through my headphones, I heard a loud SLAP. I could tell she was his girlfriend because of the way he seemed to have authority over her and her doings. Surprisingly, the young teen girl laughed. She didn’t seem to be bothered by it and moved on with friendly arguing with her boyfriend. After about five minutes of his and her rambling, he slapped her again. After all of that happened, he said, “What the fuck are you laughing at?” to the laughing teen girl.

For more information on teen dating violence, please contact Day One on their website or dial (212) 566-8120. Day One is an organization 100% devoted to teen dating violence located in Manhattan.