Safety Tips When Running Alone
Even with more daylight hours in the summer, it’s important to be safe when running alone.
There’s been a spate of sexual assaults in Beacon Hill this summer. Last week, a woman (who still has not been identified) was found dead on the beach in Southie. Universal Hub notes it was the “third body” found that day. On Wednesday, it was widely reported that 24-year-old Amy Lord was kidnapped outside her Southie apartment and brutally murdered. The city is also in the middle of a gun violence crisis.
The area where the beach victim was found and where Lord was reportedly kidnapped are upscale with gorgeous Victorians near a beach that’s pretty clean for a city, and always packed with kids. Nearby G street is one of the toughest hills in Boston, and the entire area is filled with runners, most going at it alone. It’s scary times, and residents are showing their concern via social media.:
Ultimate Self Defense is offering free self defense classes for the women of South Boston for the month of August. http://t.co/APpnw61vmA
— Caught in Southie (@maureencaught) July 24, 2013
Watch out for your friends and neighbors- especially in South Boston
— Melissa Mahan (@Fox25Melissa) July 24, 2013
Coincidentally, last night, we saw this tweet about a missing Missouri runner.:
Runners, I can’t stress the importance of letting someone know your routes. A fellow runner has gone missing. No ID, phone, GPS. :’-(
— pippa10 (@pippa10) July 23, 2013
Telling people your routes is a great tip. Others were asking about pepper spray.:
The recent attacks on women in #Boston have me wondering – why does MA still require a Firearms License before you can carry pepper spray?
— Annette A. (@Annettish) July 24, 2013
Ugh, sick world we live in. Southie/Boston resident friends, please be careful! Feel free to get your LTC or pepperspray while you're at it?
— Kristen Shea (@kshea1498) July 24, 2013
But you can’t carry mace or pepper spray in Boston without a special license. So we reached out to Officer Daniel Burroso of the Cambridge Police Department for some safety tips when running or walking alone, so that you don’t become a victim of a crime.
- Trust your instincts: ”If you think you are in an area you should not be, you probably are,” Burroso says.
- Carry a whistle or similar type of noisemaker. “In the event of an emergency, the sound may scare off a would-be attacker,” he says.
- Don’t wear headphones or listen to music. “These can distract you from being aware of your surroundings and who may be approaching you,” Burroso says.
- Show you are suspicious: ”If you are being followed, turn to look at the person,” he says. ”It sends a clear message that you will not be taken by surprise.”
- Change directions: ”If someone is following you on foot, cross the street and vary your pace,” he says. “If the person following you is in a car, turn and walk in the opposite direction”.
- If you are robbed, do not resist: ”Especially if you know or believe the robber to be armed,” he says. “The best course of action is to hand over money and whatever other belongings are demanded as quickly as possible and try to disengage from this confrontational, and potentially dangerous situation. Remember, belongings can always be replaced, but you cannot.”