Woman Shares Horrifying Experience Of 'Almost Being Kidnapped' On Lone Walk

The idea of going out for a walk should be a pleasant notion, a chance to get outside and do some gentle exercise, but for some people, going out alone is a terrifying prospect.

Women should be safe to go out for a walk by themselves, regardless of the time or their whereabouts, but sadly this isn't always the reality. A poll by YouGov in 2019 found that 59 percent of women who walk down an alley alone don't feel safe, and 50 percent felt the same way about walking alone at night.

One woman with her own terrifying tale is musician Jordan Rainer from Nashville, who shared on TikTok how a simple daily walk became a fight or flight moment when she realized she was being followed.

Rainer, 32, explained that she was walking between five and six miles a day during lockdown in 2020, following the same route each day and walking out to the country to relish the peaceful scenery. This joyful chance to breathe in the fresh air became more sinister on one occasion when Rainer noticed a car following her, despite being in the middle of nowhere.

woman almost kidnapped tiktok
Images of Jordan Rainer. Rainer has recently spoken about her difficult experience when she was followed in 2020. @thejordanrainer/TikTok

'The Car Stopped About 30ft in Front of Me...He Wanted Me to Walk Past His Car'

Speaking about the terrifying experience, Rainer told Newsweek: "I had the same basic route with a few variations. But the day I was almost taken, I was on an isolated stretch of highway with no houses in earshot, just dried up cornfields on either side and a creek running under a low bridge.

"I heard a car coming behind me, so I stepped aside to let it pass. The car did pass me, slowly, but then it stopped about 30 feet in front of me. I immediately thought it was strange for a car to stop on the highway, let alone right in front of a girl walking alone. Then the reverse lights flashed and he put his car in park, so red flags went up big time and I knew this wasn't good.

"The driver was watching me from the driver's side mirror, and something told me that he wanted me to walk past his car, and that if I did he was going to open the door and grab me. I absolutely knew it."

Finding herself looking for self-defense weapons nearby, from rocks or sticks, Rainer began to panic about what might ensue. Her chance for daily exercise had become a perilous situation. Rainer then dialed her friend, Kevin Brandt, who lived close by, and she tried to make it clear she was calling someone, hoping this might deter the person who followed her.

"I didn't call the cops because I was miles from where any cops would likely be, and by the time cops would have arrived a lot could have happened. So I called my friend Kevin, who happened to live a mile or two away.

Jordan Rainer Spoke About Being Followed
Jordan Rainer pictured. Rainer has spoken about being followed during a walk when a car parked nearby and the driver waited for her. Jordan Rainer

"I told him there was a car stopped in front of me watching me, and that I believed this driver was getting ready to take me. Kevin heard the tone of my voice and heard I was scared to death—something he later told me really shook him, because I don't get rattled."

'The Man Came Back, Got Out His Car, and Was Searching Everywhere to Find Me'

While she had been on the phone to Brandt, the pursuant drove off ahead, but Rainer admits she didn't think that was the last she would see of the car or the driver inside. Fortunately, Brandt arrived within a couple of minutes and Rainer was able to explain what had taken place to her rescuer.

She continued, "I was standing out there in the middle of the road, vulnerable and shaking, waiting to see which car would appear first: the mystery driver or my friend Kevin. Thankfully, it was Kevin! I jumped in that truck and slammed the door shut—I was shaking, my hands were cold and numb.

"As we were taking off down the road, I looked behind us and that car had come back! It was parked exactly where I'd been standing and the driver got out, he started looking around for me. I couldn't believe it!"

Once Rainer was home safe, she reported the incident to the local police department to make them aware of the threatening incident, but as no crime was committed there wasn't any course of action to take. The experience stopped the musician from going out on her walks for a long time after, and now when she goes out she follows hiking trails without any road access for cars.

Two years after the incident, Rainer shared her experience in a TikTok video, with the caption "I was almost kidnapped, and quick thinking saved my life". Since speaking out, the video has so far generated 10 million views, and 13,000 comments in support for Rainer.

The supportive comments and messages expressing similar experiences highlight that Rainer's story isn't an isolated incident. It's often the case that if you ask women for their thoughts on feeling safe, they will have their own personal story to divulge, ranging from thinking they were being followed, being heckled by the opposite sex, or choosing a longer but busier route rather than the quicker and quieter route home.

How Can Women Protect Themselves on Walks?

The Stalking Prevention, Awareness & Resource Center has suggested that one in three women have experienced some form of stalking in their lives, and among the most commonly used tactics for stalking, being followed was used in 52 percent of cases. As Newsweek has reported previously, shows such as the Netflix hit series You can be deemed to romanticize stalking behaviors, rather than show them as criminal and dangerous actions.

1. Practice Situational Awareness

Safety expert Marcya Cain, founder of Beyond Defense which aims to empower women to keep themselves protected, spoke to Newsweek about the habits people might have which put them at risk without realizing. She said: "One of the best techniques for women to know is to practice situational awareness, which means paying attention to your surroundings and looking for specific things.

"I suggest paying attention to who is near you and how they move around you. Whether footsteps are getting closer to you, pay attention to movement in shadows and reflections."

2. Have an Exit Strategy

"Also make sure the route you are taking is familiar to you so you have an exit strategy. Another big issue is that we have a tendency to wear headphones to listen to music or podcasts, but that puts us at a disadvantage to hearing what's around us. So I suggest using only one ear bud, meaning you have an ear available to listen out for danger."

3. Avoid Distractions...Put Your Phone Away

As well as teaching women self-defense, Cain notes the importance of making small changes to one's awareness which can reduce the risk of danger. These habitual tweaks are mirrored by Gene Petrino, a former SWAT commander who now teaches crime prevention.

Petrino told Newsweek that avoiding distractions is a small change that can make a big difference, and that if you do feel in danger you should make lots of noise and draw attention to the scene.

Petrino explained: "Hold your head up, not down at a cell phone, and make eye contact with everyone you see. Criminals don't want to be identified and are looking for victims who aren't paying attention to their surroundings. Always trust your gut instinct—the moment you get a bad feeling about a person or a place, leave. Don't ignore those warning signs.

4. If You Are Approached, Make a Scene

"If you are approached, threatened or attacked, make a scene. Make as much noise as possible—yell and scream to get away and put up a fight. Criminals are cowards and want easy prey, so don't let that happen."

Thankfully Rainer was able to reach safety on that fateful day, although she is still living with the burden of its memory. She has shared her experience to highlight the real dangers that women face while doing simple everyday things, such as an afternoon walk. In speaking out she hopes to encourage more people to consider their own safety when they're out in the future.

Newsweek contacted Nashville Police Department for comment.