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Secluded country walks as a disabled woman, should I?

(16 Posts)
Beebityboo Mon 10-Aug-20 11:12:08

I'm disabled but really pushing hard to lose weight. Gentle walking is pretty much all I can manage exercise wise, however we live rurally and most of the good walking trails are quite secluded. A woman was attacked on one of them two years ago just after we moved here so I've never attempted walking alone. Is it overly anxious of me to not utilise these lovely trails? Obviously being disabled makes me more vulnerable.
I suppose I'm just looking for advice/reassurance about it.
We go on walks as a family but ideally I'd like to do a early morning walk before the kids get up.

OP’s posts: |
purpleboy Mon 10-Aug-20 11:15:39

I can't really advise one way or another but, do you have something you can keep handy like your phone or a rape alarm? Could you use a stick to walk with? It might help ease the anxiety a little and help you feel safer more in control.
Make sure someone knows where you are and when your going. Do you have find my friends on your phone?
It's horrible to have to think of these things when you want to do something so simple as take a nice walk but better to be as prepared as possible?

ChazsBrilliantAttitude Mon 10-Aug-20 11:29:22

Would you actually enjoy your walk? There might be a group of walkers you could meet up with. Do you know anyone who takes their dog out early?

Beebityboo Mon 10-Aug-20 11:34:10

I don't know anyone in my area really. I think there may be dog walkers about at that time actually. Lots of people have dogs around here.

OP’s posts: |
QuestionableMouse Mon 10-Aug-20 11:45:42

You're probably more likely to be in a car crash than be attacked walking rurally. But I can understand that you're nervous and can't say I really blame you.

Most areas have a local Facebook group - maybe post on there and see if there's a group you can join?

rbe78 Mon 10-Aug-20 11:47:42

I can't speak for your region, or from the POV of someone with a disability, but I have walked many miles in many parts of the countryside as a lone female and never had an even remotely threatening encounter. In my experience, everyone I have come across when walking has been friendly and cheerful.

Cosmos45 Mon 10-Aug-20 11:51:38

How rural is rural? I live in the surrey hills and there are loads and loads of walking areas around here, you literally can go for miles, however there are always dog walkers, mountain bikers and other people about. Can you go somewhere early on in the morning where the dog walkers go to walk dogs. In this heat dog walkers definitely out and about early. Also as others have said take a stick, phone, whistle or rape alarm. I personally like taking a big chunky extendable dog lead with me, one of those ones which wind up into the base and has a handle. You can hold it in your hand and I always think it would be good to whack someone round the head with if they should even try and attack me.. (I too can sometimes get a bit nervous out walking). It may also give someone the impression you have a big dog.

Yellow1793 Mon 10-Aug-20 11:52:52

I walk alone in the countryside all the time- I’m about to go now. Admittedly I have a dog, but she just slobbers over anyone who gets too close. I think the chances of something bad happening are tiny. I wouldn’t walk in the dark, but in daylight I think the risk is minimal

GennyCrabby Mon 10-Aug-20 12:03:54

Well you've got to be happy with what you're doing for your own peace of mind. I think the chances of anybody attacking you are very low but I get why it's niggling you. Are there places you would feel safer? I imagine if its somewhere that dog walkers frequent then you might feel happier that there are people around so less chance somebody would try something?

Or find a walking buddy who wants to go at the same time as you. Or borrow a dog?

fuckingcovid Mon 10-Aug-20 15:38:09

I'm under 5 foot, and lightly built. I wouldn't walk in a secluded area, even with kids and a dog. Shame, but there it is

Saz12 Mon 10-Aug-20 15:49:10

How secluded? If there are almost zero people (eg two or three a week!) th chance of an attacker hanging about in the off chance is very remote! And if there are always several around then that’s pretty safe too. It’s the middle of those extremes that would be more risky.

bythebanksof Mon 10-Aug-20 17:43:09

Normally, I'd say to go for it!

You say "attack", but you don't specify any details? Mugging? Exposure? Rape?

The fact that you are aware of an attack in the past 2 years would be a concern. As a person with some experience in this area (not in the UK though!) could you speak to the local police? They will know if it is once off event. Do they know the person (or have a strong suspect)? Most sex offenders "work" within a very limited range, and repeat offenses in an area they are familiar with.

BogRollBOGOF Mon 10-Aug-20 18:14:37


How secluded? If there are almost zero people (eg two or three a week!) th chance of an attacker hanging about in the off chance is very remote! And if there are always several around then that’s pretty safe too. It’s the middle of those extremes that would be more risky.

That's my logic. I run on public paths through fields and on many runs, see no one. I was quite put out to see hoardes of people using them in lock down, like 3 or 4 groups per run! The horror! grin

I certainly wouldn't have the patience to wait an hour to ambush someone and find it's a pair of gnarly ramblers/ dog walkers grin

I am more wary about a local trail that's a bit quiet and far less loitering would be involved. There was a mugging on there a couple of years ago and from the items taken, I'd guess a runner. I had considered going there that afternoon but the weather was foul so I stuck closer to home. I avoided it for a while until spring and it busied up again. I do go along there because it's too restrictive to avoid that zone.

I have a wrist based attack alarm that Igot when there was a sex offender/ rapist targeting a couple of other neighbourhoods too close to home. He's behind bars for a very long time now.

The chances of stranger attack are very,ver low and I refuse to let my choices be dictated by being a short woman. There are certain parts of town I wouldn't wander around alone at night, but I wouldn't want DH wandering aound there either.

taranaki Mon 10-Aug-20 21:31:21

Personally i wouldn't feel comfortable out walking in lonely, isolated countryside. Sad but that's how it is. Could you rent/buy a treadmill to meet your fitness goals and go for a wander in the woods now and again with a friend?

tinselvestsparklepants Mon 10-Aug-20 22:10:35

Go, enjoy being out. Say hello to any other people. Go at a similar time every day and you'll probably notice a pattern and get to know them by sight. For the first few times you could always text a friend as you see off and when you get back, and tell them where you're going. Enjoy your exercise.

Gubbeen Mon 10-Aug-20 22:36:54

I live in remote countryside close to the site of a notorious unsolved murder, and I regularly walk a particularly lonely path through woods and along the edge of a lake where I have almost never seen another person (I suspect because the lake path floods in bad weather.) I also walk on field paths at night.

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