After Molly Tibbetts was murdered during a run, one Twitter user wrote a powerful thread about her own experience
In July, 20-year-old Molly Tibbetts was murdered while she was running alone in her hometown of Brooklyn, Iowa. Her story is a tragic, heartbreaking one and speaks volumes about the dangers women face every single day. Alanna Vagianos, a HuffPost reporter, shares her own painful, scary experiences as a female runner in a viral Twitter thread.
Vagianos begins by explaining that running was a form of self-care for her. It made her feel better when she was depressed and was really helpful for her overall mental health.
One day, a man tried to break in through her bedroom window while she was napping. When she went to the police, they noted that it was dangerous for her to run the same route every single day.
After Vagianos graduated from college, she kept running. It made her feel good and fought off bad feelings. One night, while she was living in New York City, someone tried to break into her apartment through the fire escape. It was on the seventh night of her running the same exact route. After that, she never ran alone again.
“The lengths that women have to go to protect themselves from being alone in public spaces is restrictive, exhausting, fucking terrifying,” Vagianos wrote.
She notes that her sister was almost abducted by a group of men while she was out running. A friend’s mom stopped running after dark because her best friend was kidnapped and murdered while on a run.
Her Twitter thread struck a painful, powerful chord with female runners. Hundreds of comments poured in from women who were threatened or made to feel unsafe while they were exercising in public. Many said they no longer feel comfortable running outside, even though it’s an incredibly therapeutic experience for them. The whole thread is beyond heartbreaking.
Meanwhile, Vagianos is still living in fear from her past experiences.
“I live on the 29th floor now. I keep a baseball bat by my bed. I still don’t sleep very well,” she concluded her thread. “And I don’t really run anymore.”