24yo runner’s sad texts exposes Aussie issue

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Tanisha Thomson loves running, but the text messages she sends to her boyfriend show how difficult it is for women in Australia to move freely without worrying about their safety.

Ms Thomson, 24, has always been interested in running. She was the child who really liked cross country, but it wasn’t until she was an adult that she became a runner.

“It wasn’t until 2019 that I started to take running more seriously and set concrete goals,” she told news.com.au.

Ms Thomson said it clears her head, releases endorphins and is simply an activity she enjoys, but she is always concerned about her safety.

Generally, Ms Thomson runs alone and walks at night when she can fit it in with her work.

Sometimes she gets bored and wants to try new routes. And every time she goes jogging, she worries about her safety.

In typical Generation Z fashion, Ms Thomson posted a TikTok showing herself jogging, but also included the text message she sends to her boyfriend before she sets off.

The messages don’t say, “I’m going for a run. I’ll be back soon.” Instead, he or she expresses concern for their safety.

She will message him if she finds a route a bit “questionable.” He will ask her to share her location before she goes running.

Sometimes he just replies and says, “I don’t like it when you walk in the dark.”

The theme of their messages is clear: both Ms Thomson and her relatives view her running hobby as a threat to their safety.

The young Australian woman called it a “sad reality” on social media, and young women were quick to agree with her, with one woman responding, saying: “Such sh*t, we need to think about this.”

Ms Thomson said her safety always comes first before she goes running.

“As a woman, safety is a constant concern when choosing times and routes to run. I have to look for well-lit, populated areas and often adjust my schedule to ensure I run at safer times of the day, which is often quite difficult to achieve,” she said.

Ms Thomson said her relatives also regularly raised “concerns”, particularly her boyfriend and her mother.

“They are concerned about the potential risks and often encourage me to be extra careful. Sometimes they even advise me not to run at all,” she said.

The young Australian said that she has not had a frightening experience yet, but that does not mean that she does not worry all the time.

“Fortunately, I haven’t had any scary experiences, but I’ve definitely had to be more careful in certain situations,” she said.

“You never know what could happen. If I hadn’t been careful and made split-second decisions like crossing to the other side of the road to avoid someone, it could have ended up being a scary experience.”


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