5 Stories That Prove Saying 'No' Can Be Truly Dangerous

September 12th 2016

Danielle DeCourcey

A 22-year-old college student was shot in the face at a Labor Day party for refusing to dance with a man. Tiarah Poyau died because she denied a man at a house party after the West Indian American J’Ouvert festival, according to the New York Daily News. When she said "no," he pulled out a gun and shot her above her eye, killing her.

The rejection and subsequent killing of Poyau sparked a conversation about toxic masculinity and rape culture on social media.

Toxic masculinity is the idea that society tells men that they have to be dominant, aggressive, and avoid vulnerable emotions associated with women.


Poyau is not the only woman to suffer violence after rejecting a man. Here are five other times a woman was killed or hurt because she said "no."

1. It wasn't a "hard no."

Austin Michael Brown, 22, from Idaho allegedly raped a woman he invited to his house. After initially denying that he had any sexual contact with the woman, court documents say that he allegedly told police the sex was consensual because the victim told him "no" but it wasn't a "hard no," according to local station KTVB.

Brown was arrested two weeks ago for rape, and he's due back in court at the end of September.

2. Jessica Hampton was allegedly stabbed to death on a busy train by her boyfriend.

In June, Arthur S. Jones was charged with slitting Hampton's throat and killing her on a busy Chicago redline train after an argument in the middle of the day, according the Chicago Tribune. Jones reportedly asked Hampton if she would have his baby. When Hampton shook her head no, he allegedly got up and started stabbing her.

The 25-year-old's death was witnessed by several people and caught on security cameras, according the Chicago Tribune.

3. Janese Talton-Jackson was shot outside of a bar.

Talton-Jackson, the sister of Pennsylvania state Rep. Ed Gainey, was killed outside of a Pittsburgh bar in January after she allegedly rejected a man's sexual advances.

Charles McKinny, 41, was charged with the 29-year-old's murder. Court documents say that McKinney allegedly followed Talton-Jackson outside after she repeatedly rejected his advances and then shot her in the chest, according to CBS News.

4. Lisa Trubnikova lost her life because of an obsessed co-worker.

Last year, Trubnikova, 31, who was in the U.S. Coast Guard and stationed in Bourne, Massachusetts, was living with her wife Ana Trubnikova in a condo. She lost her life after reportedly rejecting fellow Coast Guard officer Adrian Loya's advances.

They met when all three were stationed in Alaska. Trubnikova's family members said that Loya was "fixated" on her, according to the Boston Globe. He allegedly drove to Massachusetts from his home in Virginia, stormed into the the women's home, shot and killed Lisa and critically injured Ana who survived. During the killing, Loya allegedly strapped a video camera to his chest to have a record of Trubnikova's death, according to the Boston Globe.

5. Raelynn Vincent had her jaw broken after she was cat-called.

Last year Vincent, a 22-year-old college student, was walking from her boyfriend's house in Chico, California to her own house down the street. Her boyfriend was watching Vincent walk from his porch, according to local TV station KRCR. Two men she didn't know started to cat-call her, and when she didn't respond, one of them got out of the car and punched her in the face, according to the Chico Enterprise Record. Her jaw was broken and it was wired shut. She also hit the back of her head when she fell.

In romantic relationships, saying "no" to a man can be dangerous for women.

Violence against women is disproportionately more fatal than it is against men. At least one third of female homicide victims killed between 2003 to 2012 were killed by male intimate partners, according to a 2014 analysis by the Center for American Progress.

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