Liverpool female-only running community Girls on the Go have called for “education” and “awareness” to end harassment towards female runners.

According to a 2023 survey by Adidas, 92% of women reported fearing for their safety when they were running alone, compared to 28% of men.

Recent reports from Runners World and The University of Manchester highlight 25% of cases took on a sexual element, 11% of women stopped running altogether, and only 5% of instances were reported to the police.

Merseyside groups like Girls on the Go have set up their own community to help combat these fears for female runners.

Co-founder Caitlin Lewing is keen to highlight the issues that face female runners, and what can be done to prevent harassment towards them.

She said: “To educate those, the younger generation, what is right and wrong.

“What someone might deem not to be an issue really might have some harsh repercussions for some other people.

“I really do think education, I think just raising awareness within the authorities to see how serious this issue is.”

The running group was founded to create a safe environment for girls to meet each other in, not only organising weekly runs, but creative events and the opportunity to socialise.

She added: “I think it shouldn’t be brushed under the carpet and I think the police don’t take it as seriously as they should.

“But trying to educate those that just aren’t aware of the issues being raised.”

When asked what male allies could do to make women feel safer when they are out running, Lewing added: “Crossing the street, just respecting personal space.

“I’ve had couple of times recently where they could have been absolutely harmless, but they’ve got a bit too close for my liking and then alarm bells start ringing.

“But I think just being very aware of how their actions make us feel in their presence in general.

“I think by either speeding up or passing us and not always being behind us might be positive.”

(pic by Pixabay royalty free)