Survey finds high percentage of female runners harassed
BATON ROUGE - It's not uncommon to see a person running or jogging, especially on a beautiful day. Many people, both men and women don't think twice about venturing out alone.
But when three women were murdered while running over the course of nine days earlier this year, discussion spurred about runner safety. While many runners say they feel safe while running, others began to feel vulnerable.
A study performed by Runner's World found that 43 percent of women at least sometimes experience harassment on their run compared to four percent of men. The majority of these cases are not life-threatening but it can be upsetting and likely happen to you or someone you know.
It's one reason why Sydney Sceroler and Olivia Speeg exercise together.
"That's why we always walk together to be extra cautious because we've heard stories," said Sceroler.
The study found the numbers jump, the younger the person is. About 58 percent of women under 30, half of those 30 to 35 have suffered abuse. It also found 94 percent of their harassers were men. These are numbers that Cordall Sudds says are alarming.
"I don't really notice anything like that, but yeah it's kind of shocking to me," he said.
Sudds says he has friends who have been cat-called or honked at while running.
"It does happen," he says.
The Baton Rouge Police Department offers safety tips to runners including carrying mace, don't run alone, don't wear ear buds while running and change up your route at some point to avoid a pattern.
While the tips are important to follow, many people may already follow them and know how to stay safe and aware of their surroundings while running. Some say harassment could happen no matter what.
"We just try to avoid it," said Speeg.
You can read more about the Runner's World survey here.