designing a safer woman

Women’s Running & General Safety Tips

Please think about your personal safety before you run – have a strategy and a plan.  Not just for running, but for your daily lifestyle as well.  Arm yourself with knowledge on what predators are looking for; and how to make yourself less of a target.  While you can never completely protect yourself from sexual assault, there are things you can do to help reduce your risk of being assaulted.  Remember, sexual assaults, whether physical or verbal, are not your fault.

  • Be aware of your surroundings. Knowing where you are and who is around you may help you to find a way to get out of a bad situation.
  • Try to avoid isolated areas. It is more difficult to get help if no one is around.
  • Walk or Run with purpose.  Even if you don’t know where you are going, act like you do.
  • Trust your instincts.  If a situation or location feels unsafe or uncomfortable, it probably isn’t the best place to be.  We cannot emphasize this enough.
  • Try not to load yourself down with packages or bags as this can make you appear more vulnerable.
  • Make sure your cell phone is with you and charged and that you have cab money.
  • Don’t allow yourself to be isolated with someone you don’t trust or someone you don’t know.
  • Don’t run with your music/ iPod.  If you must however, avoid putting music headphones in both ears so that you can be more aware of your surroundings, especially if you are running or walking alone.
  • Run with friends or in areas where other runners, walkers and bikers frequent. 
  • Consider joining a running club.  Many running clubs offer connections and they know the safer areas, roads and trails in the local community.  If you are traveling, contact the local running club for advice for that town.
  • Let loved ones or other people know your running route and how long you are going to be gone.  Checking back in with them when you’re done.
  • If you are being followed while running, run to any public area, if possible, and call 911.  Never be afraid to call 911 to report suspicious activity.  It could save your life.
  • Run with your dog – they are known to be effective deterrents.
  • If possible, change running routes often enough.  Stalking is a serious issue, so change it up.
  • Before purchasing any self-defense product like pepper sprays – please make sure you thoroughly understand the products, are trained in the product use and know the product’s limitations.  The same logic goes for technology, emergency apps and GPS tracking.  Road ID and other similar products are good for identification/medical history.  Always be realistic and use your common sense.

Special thanks to www.rainn.org and www.gracieacademy.com for your support/resources

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