sexually assaulted Saturday afternoon along the Lehigh Canal towpath. She was alone. It's hard enough to work up the motivation to get out on a trail or bike path, but it seems that women need to consider this unpleasant possibility as well. It certainly would be safer to avoid running or walking on trails alone, but staying off of them completely just lets the bad guy win.
Yesterday afternoon, along the lonely but inviting Nor-Bath trail, at least half of the people I saw were solo women who seemed as happy as I was to be out there. Here are some pointers from a Runners World forum.
* My husband always knows what route I will take and how long I will be gone.
* My husband is the only one who knows what route I will take.
* If I have a big enough pocket, I carry my cell phone with the GPS turned on. This allows my location to be easily tracked if the authorities have to be called.
* I have taken self-defense and carry pepper spray.
* I never run the same route two nights in a row or the same night of the week two weeks in a row.
* I like to run on the nearby college campus. It is well lit and has those emergency phones with the flashing lights.
* Running loops seems like a bad idea. You are more likely to be attacked by some neighbor who has a weird fascination with you than by a random stranger. The loops set up a pattern which makes it easier for a stalker.
Should a woman just give up and say she is too fragile? I say she should act like a man, damn it!