Why Do I Care? Because It Could Have Been Me

I am just so very tired.

I am exhausted and I am frustrated and I am angry and I am on the precipice of no longer believing anyone cares.

Today I reported on another woman murdered, while out for her nightly jog. She had just got engaged. Police believe it to be a random attack.

Her name was Wendy Karina Martinez. Her name matters, as does Mollie Tibbetts, Vanessa Marcotte and Karina Vetrano.

How easily we forget their names.

Then another woman out for her jog is attacked and we think to ourselves ‘didn’t this happen before’ and as quickly as the faded memory of the murdered woman’s name comes into our view it disappears into that apathetic abyss.

READ MORE: Jogger Stabbed To Death While On Nightly Run

READ MORE: Body Of Missing Student Discovered A Month After She Went For A Jog

READ MORE: I Walk Home At Night, So It's My Fault, Right?

Why do I care so much you ask? I didn’t know these women.

I shared with them a love of jogging. A love of the freedom of running, of moving my body and forgetting the day’s stress.

I almost shared with them a lot more. Because it could have been me just as easily.

In 2014, I was jogging along a well-lit busy road during a night time jog, because safety was paramount. I had the various beeps and men yelling out something at me from their cars – hence my headphones.

A car pulling over and propositioning me during my jog.

The car, PULLED OVER.

I ignored it and kept jogging but it slowly followed me for bit before speeding off, taking with it any confidence I had jogging at night alone.

Murder victims Karina Vetrano, Wendy Karina Martinez, Vanessa Marcotte and Mollie Tibbetts. (Photos: Facebook)

Since then I have jogged in the gym or on a treadmill. I have joined multiple night-time running groups on Facebook, many of them female filled.

We are angry. Angry at the impotent nature of our position. As a collective we are angry that we have to need each other to go out for a jog. Yes there is safety in numbers, but it feels like we are residing ourselves to the fact that we cannot enjoy a night time jog alone.

Imagine for a second that I told you that thing you love doing –baking/singing/playing guitar; that thing you find solace in, the thing that gives you a sense of freedom and joy, could cost you your life. That is the reality for a woman jogging at night, or even in the day. Every step could be one closer to the random attack that could end your life.

And that thought, that reality is exhausting.

Contact the author rhabib@networkten.com.au