Woman carries bear spray when she runs to ward off harassment from humans

Kaitlyn Morgan packs bear spray when she goes on a run. It's not because she lives in Colorado and the idea of encountering a bear is an actual possibility. The trail runner said it's because there's an even higher chance of her being assaulted.

DENVER - Kaitlyn Morgan packs bear spray when she goes on a run. 

Hear from Kaitlyn, who tells her #MeToo story herself, in the video above. 

It's not because she lives in Colorado and the idea of encountering a bear is an actual possibility. The trail runner said it's because there's an even higher chance of her being assaulted. 

"It's a really sad feeling that we have come to that point where it's accepted as the norm and it's accepted as reality," Morgan said. 

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Carrying around pepper or bear spray seems like a 'responsibility' that Morgan wishes was not normal.

"I can't feel like I'm 100 percent comfortable going out at dusk or at dawn without letting someone know where I am going, when I'm going, when I'll be back, how long I'm going to be gone for," Morgan said. 

She's been catcalled and even followed around.

"It really rattled me because I knew he had followed me for a long time," she said. "And then I realized it was because of what I was wearing."  

Morgan was wearing a sports bra and spandex. 

"We don't simply dress that way out of the sheer fact that we want someone to look at us and this goes for men too," she said. "We want to do it for our comfort, for our enjoyment."

Morgan wrote a post on her blog to change the dialogue around harassment runners face. She thinks people focus too much on what someone is wearing rather than focusing on the idea that 'no one asked for it.' 

"My safe place of being able to run where I want, in what I want was violated. Taken away because a man decided that because I was in a vulnerable place (less clothing) he thought it was okay to confront me inappropriately. This happens far more often than we think, and we let it. We presume that just because she is wearing those short shorts and that shirt she is 'asking' for it. Or because he went out alone he 'deserved it' there is no excuse for any type of that behavior in this world."

She's not letting fear stop her from doing what she loves.

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"I'm not going to shy away from a trail that maybe an incident happened at," she said. "Yes, I'm going to be cautious but I'm also going to stand my ground and be alert." 

Morgan plans to run in a 60-mile trail run in the Arizona desert this weekend. 

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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