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Runner Safety: 6 Tips for Preventing Harassment & Injury

Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.

When it comes to runner safety in Houston, you might think about heat illness or sprained ankles. Unfortunately, runners also need to think about their safety in terms of street harassment. It’s just as important for runners to be “street smart” and aware as it is for them to know about proper stride and training techniques.

An infographic from React Mobile provides some key information about forms of harassment, as well as techniques for dealing with street harassment while running. Don’t miss these essential running safety tips…

What Is Street Harassment?

Street harassment is defined as unwelcome words and actions by unknown persons in public, which are motivated by gender and invade a person’s physical and emotional space in a disrespectful, creepy, startling, scary, or insulting way.

Sadly, 87% of American women between the ages of 18 and 64 have been harassed by a male stranger. Women in all areas experience street harassment:

    • Rural – 90%
    • Suburban – 88%
    • Urban – 87%

Methods of Street Harassment

Methods may include:

    • Leering – 95%
    • Honking – 95%
    • Whistling – 94%
    • Vulgar Gesture – 82%
    • Sexual Comment – 81%
    • Following – 75%
    • Touching or Grabbing – 57%
    • Assault – 27%

How to Deal With Street Harassment

    • Ignore the harasser, if possible.
    • Use strong body language.
    • Do not respond to diversions, questions, threats, blaming or guilt-tripping.
    • Project confidence and remain calm.
    • Do not apologize or make excuses. Be firm.
    • Try not to lose your temper or curse.

More Running Safety Tips

Follow these running safety tips to protect yourself…

    • Be aware of your surroundings.
    • Avoid isolated areas.
    • Go with your gut. Leave if you feel uncomfortable.
    • Bags make you appear vulnerable.
    • Keep a phone with you. Make sure it’s charged. Or, consider running with an Apple Watch or similar device that has the ability to make emergency calls without being tethered to your phone.
    • Run with your dog.
    • Avoid headphones in both ears.
    • Run with friends or join a running club.
    • Change routes to avoid being stalked.
    • Have a friend follow you virtually with an app.
    • Use self-defense products with full knowledge.

For more information, view the infographic below…

Want more running safety resources? Read “Hot Weather Running: Tips From Your Houston Sports Med Doc.”

Find a Sports Medicine Doctor Near You In Houston

Looking for a sports medicine provider near you? Schedule an appointment at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics by calling (713) 756-5546.

Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.