What Most Men Don’t Understand About Living in Fear

I shouldn’t have to worry about my safety every time I go for a run

Cara Harbstreet (She/Her)
Human Parts

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Photo: Ashley Corbin-Teich/Getty Images

I crave the ability to feel at ease in public spaces.

As a runner, there are countless times I find myself alone. I actually prefer it that way; running with a partner or group doesn’t grant me the quiet time to be with my thoughts and get what I need from my workout. But running alone as a woman is a constant trade-off. How much do I value my safety? And how much do I want to avoid being harassed, or worse?

There is no shortage of instances in which women have been harassed, followed, assaulted, or murdered while simply living their lives. I don’t need to paint the picture with statistics — there are sadly far too many cases that showcase the spectrum of what might happen every day when I walk out the door.

There is one case in particular that had a particularly deep effect on me: Mollie Tibbetts, the University of Iowa student who went missing last summer after going out for an evening run. Her body was found after a five-week search. I’ve taken a summer evening run oh, I don’t know… about a million times.

Maybe it was the fact that I was in Iowa while the search for Molly was being conducted, or that I saw something of myself in her, but it…

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Cara Harbstreet (She/Her)
Human Parts

Lover of carbs and puns, call me Cara Carbstreet | Anxious Millennial | Coffee Enthusiast | Non-diet Dietitian