I know for me, I usually feel safe until a car of young men drives by screaming sexually-harassing things, honking, and hooting. Then I'm jolted back to reality where I start to feel very far from home, unequipped, and vulnerable. Should I flip them off, ignore them, change directions?
Because I suffer from plantar fasciitis and my first love is track and field (not distance running), I feel safer running on the nice rubberized, well-lit track at the local high school. There is almost always other people running and working out there in the evenings who would notice if anything happened. I know a lot of cross country runners who can't stand running on a track, but—just think—you can save your feet and knees and safely listen to your headphones.
Some safety tips
"The best way to prove that she is not willing is not by saying 'please don't,' or 'I have my period.' The best way to prove that the act is not consensual is by physical resistance."
Stopping Rape explains that women who prevented rapes ran away, screamed, and used physical force. The least effective strategies were pleading and crying.
The more strategies used, the better! If you've just sprinted up a hill after a three-miler, running away and screaming might be difficult, but puffing on a whistle requires less energy and accomplishes the same thing.
Dig deep and find your will to survive—you've hit the wall and kept going on jelly-legs before.
Final notes on running safety for women:
- Be smart.
- Run with a buddy.
- Run in places where you feel comfortable.
- Run in well-lit, high-traffic areas.