SINGAPORE: A woman recently shared a frightening experience claiming a man kept following her around while she was out for a jog. Sadly, such situations are not uncommon for women. What can they do to keep safe?

“While jogging, this guy kept following me,” online user Ms Nijhum Ahmed shared with the Complaint Singapore group on Wednesday (Jan 31). According to Ms Ahmed’s post, the man allegedly continued to follow her despite her taking precautions. “I switched my route to avoid him, but he continued trailing me on the Lavender Fair Price Road,” she wrote.

“I asked people around, and they said the police can’t intervene until he makes a mistake. I was puzzled—wait for him to do something wrong? So, I called my Singaporean friend, and explained everything, and he was shocked too. When he arrived, he saw the guy behind me, and thankfully, he helped me out of that scary situation. Horrible.”

Statistics of women who get harassed while out on a run

Though jogging alone is a great way for people to unwind and disconnect from the stress of the work day, unfortunately, not everyone can enjoy this activity in peace.

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According to a survey conducted by Adidas in 2023, it was found that while out for a run, 92 per cent of women reported having personal safety concerns. 51 per cent reported being afraid of being attacked physically.

The survey also reported that 38 per cent of women had been harassed, either physically or verbally, while out for a run.

Furthermore, more than half of these women reported having been on the receiving end of unwanted attention.

From disrespectful comments and inappropriate attention to being followed, such incidents have been such an issue that 69 per cent of women said they take certain precautions when out for a run.

While some said they hold keys between their fingers for protection, others said they make sure to run with someone who can keep them safe.

What can women do to stay safe?

According to another report where women shared different safety measures they take when they go out for a run, a key tip is to put personal safety first.

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Another safety measure that was shared was to ensure that the music playing through earbuds is not so loud that it completely blocks out surrounding noise.

GPS tracking can also allow a loved one to monitor a woman’s location while she is out for a solo run. Many apps allow runners to share their live location with someone else for safety purposes.

Furthermore, women can join running clubs to enjoy the healthy activity with other running buddies.

Learn self-defence

Another great way to keep safe is to learn women’s self-defence. Learning a martial art will help women become empowered, gain confidence, and learn how to fight off an attacker.

Jiu-Jitsu, for example, is a martial art designed so that even smaller, lighter people can dominate larger, much heavier people.

Instead of relying on strength and power, the art teaches people how to use leverage, position, and timing to their advantage.