A woman is killed while running at night, and now people are blaming the victim

By Simone Mitchell

Karina Vetrano was raped and killed while out for her evening run.
Karina Vetrano was raped and killed while out for her evening run.

It's not okay to blame the victim when a woman is assaulted.

It's not okay to put the onus on the female and say that she should have been more careful, or she shouldn't have drunk so much, or worn a short skirt when she headed out for the evening.

It should be the man's responsibility not to assault the female.

Some of the comments about the New York woman who was killed while she was out on her evening run have put this issue of victim blaming in the spotlight, yet again.

Karina Vetrano, 30, was reported missing by her father when she didn't return from her regular evening run. Her body was later found in a "weeded area" that her father had told her not to run near, as he didn't believe it was safe.

It appears she was strangled, and her running pants were found pulled halfway down her legs.

Many people seem to think that Vetrano should have been more careful. She shouldn't have run at night. She shouldn't have run in the area that her father warned her about. Someone even mentioned that she was vulnerable as she was wearing "tight clothing" (what exactly was she meant to run in ... a boiler suit?)

Here are some examples of the comments that are floating around on social media.

The bottom line is, women should be able to run at night and feel safe.

There are also numerous articles on the web offering safety tips for women who want to run in the dark.

They suggest that you change up your running routes if you run alone, so you don't make yourself vulnerable to predators who are observing your daily routine; that you run with pepper spray and avoid listening to music so you are more aware of your surroundings.

Sarah Crouch is a fan of jogging at night. She's written about it at length on the Runners Connect website and says that while women should be able to run wherever they like, whenever they like wearing whatever they like, the sad reality is that female runners need to be mindful of their safety.

Karina Vetrano was an avid runner and usually went jogging with her dad.
Karina Vetrano was an avid runner and usually went jogging with her dad.

"I've heard it a million times, mostly from my mother: 'Never run alone, it's a scary world out there for a woman, always carry pepper spray with you,'" she says.

"On one hand, I resent this advice, because I feel that it takes feminism back 50 years, telling me I can't go running by myself without a big strong protector (or a tiny painful protector in a can), and I want to be free to listen to the sound of my feet hitting a dark city street or feel the wind in my hair as I cruise alone down a secluded wooded path.

"On the other hand, I want to live to enjoy running at a nice old age.

"How do we find that balance as women? How do we keep the wonderful independence that we've found in running but stay safe at the same time?

"Ladies, I'm not asking you to be frail and helpless, I'm asking you to be sensible."

- news.com.au

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