When we think of defending ourselves, typically we stay focused on creating an opportunity to escape to be safe in that moment. We don’t realize how our act of courage can have a big impact on a larger scale. The story of a female jogger’s ordeal is a perfect example of the ripple effect we can cause when we stand up for ourselves verbally or in this case, physically.

A 10-year-old girl was abducted and killed earlier this month. Her body was discovered five days later. Police had little if anything to go on to solve this murder. As they were putting together the pieces, a 22-year-old woman was jogging when a stranger grabbed her from behind and attempted to subdue her with a chemical soaked rag. Without any training, she fought him off and got away. She reported the incident to the police which provided a missing piece to the girl’s murder investigation.

Shortly after, the police took a 17-year-old into custody for both crimes. This young man is a college student who lives in the same neighborhood as the deceased girl. The female jogger had no idea that she would be providing information that would create circumstances to arrest a murder suspect. She was just defending herself. When our actions send the message that violence against women will not be tolerated, it will resonate outward and contribute to the safety of girls and women everywhere.

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