Local experts share safety tips for women while running

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There have been multiple incidents across the country where women went for a run outside and wound up getting attacked. But, there are some things you can do. Experts say to do things like always be alert and try not to have headphones in. But, if you need to listen to music, they suggest taking one headphone out and keeping the music low.

At the end of August, 25 year old Sydney Sutherland disappeared after going for a run in Arkansas. Her body was found two days later not far from her own home. Sutherland’s story has become all too familiar. In recent years multiple women were also killed while out for a jog, some in broad daylight.

Experts say it can happen anywhere and it’s important to be aware. Eileen Mann and Peg Rieley are members of The Safety Team, a nonprofit organization in Vermont dedicated to the safety and empowerment of women.

They said one of the main risk factors is being alone and they suggest running with a buddy or a group.

“Chances are a predator is much more likely to attack a solitary individual rather than a group,” said Rieley.

Mann said women should always be alert and pay attention to where you are. She says do not have headphones in with music blasting.

“Stay focused, stay alert, and be aware of where you are, actually come up with strategies when your running, think of is that house a safe house to go too,” said Mann.

According to Mann, 80% of attacks are done by people who are familiar with the victim.

“It’s important that that runner also varies her routine. Don’t run the same place the same time every day,” said Mann.

“If you’re going out for a run and you’re by yourself, it’s probably good judgment to let someone know where you are going,” said Rieley.

Mann and Rieley also say to always trust your intuition. “If you feel like ooo I don’t feel good about this, then change it,” said Mann.

Some experts also suggest wearing tighter form fitting clothes and hair in a low side ponytail or braid. Baggy clothes and a high ponytails can be easier for predators to grab.

However, The Safety Team wants to remind everyone that these incidents do not happen because a women decided to go running or wear a certain thing. They happen because a predator decided to attack.

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