When I worked at a running shop, it quickly became apparent to me that a lot of my female customers suffered harassment, and even assault while out running. These incidents were occurring in areas where I and my male colleagues ran without any problems from one year to the next.
The purpose of this thread is to ask how widespread the problem is, and what can be done about it?
I have heard as manyt stories of men getting harrassed as women......
some people seem to get upset by someone beeping their horn or shouting out of a window......
whilst most just ignore it as messing around.....
i would not call it harassment
to me harassment is someone blocking my way and trying to stop me continuing.never ever had that happen
so can you clarify exactly in what way the harassment stories you have heard amount to
I agree with Seren,
Personally, I've never heard of anyone being physically assaulted and only a few instances of anything being said that was malicious. Most of it seems to be stupid comments from stupid people who are best ignored.
I'm not saying that women should have put up with it and I'm not surprised they find it annoying - even intimidating - but I don't think there are many people out there that genuinely want to do harm to female runners.
And, as Seren also says, from what I've read on here, male runners seem to get their fair share of comments too - perhaps it's just that women are more upset by it?
Don’t get me wrong, I have to put up with fat people shouting abuse at me like every other runner.
Some of the incidents that my female customers told me about, went well beyond that.
The shop was in Leicester.
The incidents took place along the canal, which was a major running highway, but also frequented in places by drug addicts and other undesirables.
I used to run with a young women runner as a means of providing protection.
I was asked to do this.
To say I took pride in this task would be putting it mildly. She was a national champion, I was a lowly club runner who never even made county level.
I suspect the latter Millsy.
Obviously female runners need to cover a lot of ground, so they are more likley to put themselves in harms way.
There may be an issue of people not reporting it, as you suggest.
Personal alarms are light enough for a runner to conveniently carry, and would be an effective defence mechanism.
I think a lot of it comes down to perceived threat rather than actual threat. Its a bit like when you hear people say how everyones getting burgled and mugged and then you ask them 'Have you ever been burgled or mugged?' and the answer is invariably 'no'.
The media whip people up into a state of panic with constant 'crime statistics' and then people carry that fear with them so the minute someone coughs behind them, they think it could be someone about to launch an attack.
Case in point Ben, you are talking about a canal towpath ...... not exactly an area renowned for landed gentry walking up and down, doffing their cap at you as you pass.
I worked a stretch of a canal in London about two years ago, busy with bikes, runners and houseboats etc....we had a large amount of what Ben talks about happening. It even went as far as some sexual assaults with females being groped (sp?) whilst running. It seemed the cause was a mix of sunshine, alcohol and groups of boys, who would start of with shouting out at runners, running along side, obstructing the path and ultimately physical assaults.
What it took was people to report it to the police, and we were able to deal with it
I run past the druggy-drunks on my local canal path and never get any hassle. I have walked past them a few times and received verbal abuse and intimidating gestures.Basically I feel safer and less of a target when I'm running - despite the fact that I'd clearly be too knackered to escape an incident should one occur!
Never been harassed, had the odd drunk and kids shout things as i went past, that ain't harassment. Once had a drunk try to paw me when helping me up after I face planted by a pub, again not harassment, even though he was pissed out of his skull, at least he came to offer help unlike anyone else
A group of men tried to block my way when I was out running near a canal a few years ago, they tried to grab hold of me and became very abusive when they couldn't catch me and I told them (from a safe distance) what cowards they were. I would call that harassment. I've had blokes try to slap my arse when I've been out running, I would call that harassment too. It might just be a bit of fun for them as they show off in front of their mates but it's not fun for me. Since moving to a different city I've had hardly any abuse at all, it's a real relief. Oh I've just remembered this - a couple of teenage boys on bikes tried to intimidate me a few weeks ago, they were of course shouting sexist abuse and kept circling me, cycling up onto the pavement etc. But I was quite pumped so I chased them and tried to push one off his bike, I'm only 5 foot 2 and weigh 105lbs so it was real daftness on my part but it made me feel better to at least give them a bit of a shock.
I have never had any harassment. I don't run on canal paths either!
Oh and last year a friend of mine was running in one of the London parks and was jumped, punched in the face and left with a broken eye socket...
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