Day before yesterday I was taking my normal walk that I do almost every day, it takes about an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes, depending on how much time I spend on my phone.
More than halfway around the walk, in a very nice neighborhood here in L.A., I saw a police officer waiting for me on top of a hill. I quickly asked myself if I was doing anything illegal! Since I was a teenager sneaking underage drinks, I’ve always cringed slightly when I see a police man or woman in uniform. It’s silly, I know…
So I checked myself and felt confident he wasn’t waiting for me. Or was he? He was looking at me as I approached as if he needed to talk to me…
I strode forward and saw two other women approaching us from the other side. I heard the officer say “Let’s wait for this young woman” (me). Yikes…
He told us that he was standing in a spot where another woman had been sexually assaulted while out exercising alone on that street (jogging). He said the man who attacked her was white, about six feet tall, clean shaven with dark or black hair. He had hid in the shrubbery that blocked the road and pulled her pants down.
This is an area near a nice golf course by my house. And I seriously walk that path alone all of the time, right by that spot.
You know, our gut instincts tell us a lot, and I had felt a little unsafe in that area, partially because it’s very quiet and you hardly see anyone else outside, even though it’s highly populated with houses. Not only do I walk that path alone, half the time my face is in my phone reading the Internet.
Also, here’s the kicker: right in that area, my phone signal often cuts out, so I possibly couldn’t even call for help from there.
The only moral of this story is don’t walk or jog alone at night, the women was attacked at 9:22 PM. That and listen to your gut…
The officer suggested I carry a whistle, I guess he means a rape whistle, but that’s not good enough for me to feel safe there, now. I will take another route with more cars and people. My heart just goes out to the woman who was attacked, and I hope that creep is brought to justice.
Violating someone’s body also violates their sense of safety and their spirit. I am grateful for the warning and the reminder to listen to my instincts better from now on.
Be safe out there in the world, my friends.