Sunday evening, two female Ann Arbor joggers were the victims of assault and attempted kidnapping. This was big-font front-page news in yesterday's paper.
Don't think the possibility of this happening to me hasn't crossed my mind from time to time. I spend a lot of time running on deserted country roads or when there is little to no light. I tense up every time a vehicle slows down beside me. I'd like to think I could fight off an attacker or sprint away given my superior fitness ("See if you can catch me NOW, fuckhead!") but if someone is truly determined I might not have a chance. Neither of these women were prepared; they were taken totally by surprise.
It saddens me that I have to think of every suspicious vehicle with a lone man behind the wheel as a potential threat, but there it is. I know there are a lot more good people in the world than bad, but there's no way to tell the difference. The person who stops and asks for directions because he's lost might be the one who pulls a gun on me and orders me into his vehicle. I know men aren't excluded from becoming victims of violence, but we women have to be so much more alert and careful.
I think it's time I got myself a wee little canister of pepper spray.