Young Woman Realizes She’s Being Followed by a Creepy Man — So She Did the Smartest Thing She Could Think Of

Inspiring Stories

It should go without saying that women don’t like being followed by strange men at night.

But one young woman Lacie Kraatz (@lacie_kraatz), is going viral for posting a video of a man stalking her — in broad daylight.

She was understandably terrified. So here’s what she did about it.

She Was Just Trying to Exercise

It’s 2024 and thankfully as a society, most of us have come to realize it’s not a woman’s fault if she’s being stalked.

It doesn’t matter what she’s wearing! Every woman should feel as though she can go out in public without fearing for her safety!

Sadly, this isn’t always the reality. Harassment can happen anytime, anywhere. Even when you least expect it.

Which is exactly what happened to coastguard Lacie Kraatz when her 3 mile run got cut short.

It was the middle of the day and in public place, but that didn’t stop a total stranger from following her.

Kraatz shared how she had run past a man jogging in the opposite direction of her. As she was approaching him she felt a knot in her gut.

She Knew Something Wasn’t Right

He kept “peeking” behind him — as Kraatz put it — waiting for her to run into his eye line.

“Peeking” is a lesser-known tactic men use when they want to “check out” a woman, in the most discreet way possible.

At first, she thought maybe it was all in her head. She ran past him and it seemed like she was in the clear.

After all, they were going in opposite directions.

Then he stopped in the middle of the trail.

The strange man turned around and began running behind Kraatz. She got a pit in her stomach. She hoped he would turn off and take a different trail.

But he didn’t. He stayed with her.

When she quickened her pace — so did he. After a few clever manoeuvres to lose him, it was clear this definitely wasn’t all in her head. So she did the only thing she could think of.

She got out her cellphone — and started filming.

She Filmed Herself for Her Protection

The video opens on a heavy-breathing Kraatz. She’s decked out in black running gear and has slowed down to a brisk walk.

The camera is angled over her shoulder. A short distance away is a figure walking behind her.

“See this gentleman behind me? Yeah, this is what this video’s about.”

Lacie Kraatz, TikTok

Instead of calling a friend or family member, Kraatz decided to document the interaction for her protection and the protection of other women.

The video teaches viewers a valuable lesson of what impending danger can look like in real time — and why it’s important to prioritize your safety over “politeness.”

Watch Lacie Kraatz’s Video

@lacie_kraatz #foryou #ladies #awareness ♬ original sound – Lacie

There’s no shortage of safety tips out there for women traveling alone when they’re in a sticky situation.

“What I do when I’m being followed is act feral,” one person shared. “Like I’ll bark and growl really loud and flail my arms around. If you look crazy, you’re doin’ it right.”

@lacie_kraatz, TikTok comment

Never let a first date pick you up. When you’re walking to your car, keep your keys between your fingers to use as a weapon. Share your location with friends. If someone is following you, pretend to be on the phone. Never stop for strangers. Keep the lights on after you fall asleep — and the list goes on and on.

But women are banding together to “normalize making a scene,” as one comment put it — when they are feeling unsafe in a public space.

Prioritize You Safety Over Being Polite

One of the biggest problems women can face in moments like these, is shockingly, the fear of being impolite.

Studies show that most women feel compelled to be compliant in situations that make them uncomfortable. They prioritize other people’s comfort just to be agreeable — even if it’s to their own discomfort.

Kraatz’s first instinct was to dismiss her gut feeling. Maybe she wasn’t being followed. But when it became clear this certainly was the case, she was able to follow her instincts and run away.

Instead of being worried that the man chasing after her would have hurt feelings, she prioritized her own safety and it paid off!

Her confidence is an important reminder for all genders, for how to act quickly in scary situations.

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