(Video) Woman fends off sexual assault at the gym

A Tampa woman who successfully fended off an assailant in her apartment complex’s gyms shared her story in the hope that it would give other women confidence.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said that Nashali Alma was exercising in the complex’s gym in late January. A guy who seemed familiar to her needed admission to the facility. Alma said that she let the guy in because she had previously seen him in the gym.

Alma told authorities that the guy approached her and grabbed her waist while she was exercising. She said that despite her yelling at the guy to leave her alone, he followed her throughout the gym.

According to the video, the guy then forced Alma to the ground. However, she resisted him and made an attempt to dial 911. Once the guy let go of her, she sprinted from the gym to a neighboring apartment.

The next day, investigators located the 25-year-old suspect. They arrested him on charges of sexual abuse, kidnapping, and false imprisonment. Alma said that she came forward with the incident in the hopes that other women could find encouragement in her experience.

Alma advised: “I would tell every woman always to keep fighting, never give up. As long as you fight back and show him that you’re strong and you’re not giving up, I believe it’s possible to escape. It’s better to reach out to law enforcement sooner than later. The sooner they have the information, the sooner they can catch that person.”

Women using TikTok have started recording themselves exercising in an attempt to expose predatory behavior by men at the gym. However, there is a divide over who is to blame. The hashtag #GymCreep and #GymWeirdo, mainly uploaded by UK and US users, have gained over 100 million views on the platform in the past 18 months.

Recently, US influencer Gina’s video went viral after she shared footage of a man acting inappropriately close to her while she was lifting weights. In the clip, the unidentified older man can be seen setting up behind Gina and moving one weight from side to side, while Gina feels uncomfortable and threatened by his behavior. She claims the gym was empty, and the man had many other corners to be in, yet he chose to position himself right behind her.

Gina’s video is one of many in a trend of women taking to social media to expose harassment at the gym. According to a survey by US company Run Repeat, 56 percent of women have reported some form of harassment while working out.

Earlier this year, a fitness coach named Joey Swoll ignited an online debate by criticizing women who claimed to be harassed by men at the gym, stating that they “aren’t victims” simply because men watch them during their workout.

The argument started when Joey responded to various TikTok videos posted by women who felt uncomfortable due to men watching them at the gym. He argued that there is a significant difference between someone simply “looking or glancing” at a woman and “being an actual creep.”

This incident showcases just that – how inappropriate behavior escalated and ultimately involved law enforcement officers.