It was New Year’s day and I was a dedicated long distance runner. Nothing made me feel freer or more in charge of my destiny then a long run. From the start I was blissfully oblivious to the fact that I was running in a very poorly lit field, isolated from the main campus.

I compounded this error by starting the run at dusk in January when light fades very rapidly. In retrospect, my lack of knowledge regarding rape put me in an extremely vulnerable situation, one which  could have ended very badly. I come from a culture in which any such happening creates enormous shame and revulsion.

About 20 minutes into the run, I was grabbed from behind and a hand was placed over my mouth.

I heard the menacing words “Scream and it’ll be all over.”

When I looked behind me the attacker grabbing me had panty hose on his face obscuring his features. I had the presence of mind to realize that as I wasn’t up against a weapon, I stood a fair chance if I resisted vociferously.

So the first thing I did was to start screaming and struck his shoulder. 

The rapist then tried to get a reflective vest I had on off, but I continued to resist. He then threw himself on me hoping to get me on the ground but was not successful. Rapists are cowards who are looking for easy targets.

The fact that I resisted made the rapist run off. I then ran to a weight room that was near the university’s track and broke down completely in tears and shock.

How I wish I had had the knowledge that this site outlines on how to avoid vulnerability and what actions to take in the event of such a soul-searing encounter. Arm yourself with the right knowledge so that you do not have to experience such trauma.

Rapists count on the vulnerability of naive victims and women need to seriously educate themselves on how to avoid such situations. Or, if they have stumbled into such a horrible situation, how they can safely extricate themselves from it.

To raise awareness and protect against rape and sexual assault, please read and share the following infographic, as well as this previous infographic on rape avoidance. Knowledge is power!

Thank you

Cathleen Johnson

How To Avoid Getting Rapped A Guide For Woman