If you’re anything like me, you like the peace of mind of knowing that you can defend yourself if you absolutely need to but you don’t advocate violence or weapons. There are still some accessories you can keep on your person for that extra peace of mind.
Mace or pepper spray is a good way to keep attackers at a distance. It is quick, easy to use, causes severe irritation and may slow down an attacker from a distance. They even make cute little keychain mace so it’s not inconvenient to carry with you. The downsides of mace are numerous though: many establishments won’t let you carry mace in with you, so if you’re going to a bar or concert, you may have to leave it at home or in the car completely rendering it useless, if you get some of the mace spray in your own face you’ll be wildly uncomfortable for quite some time, and in some cases it may enrage a potential attacker while slowing you down creating an even more dangerous situation.
A tactical knife or taser are good options if your attacker is already within 20 feet of you. The purpose of a knife is, obviously, to get stabby upon your attacker – stab to defend not to kill. And a taser is non-lethal immobilization tool to keep your attacker defenseless. In both cases however, you’ll be much closer to your attacker than you’d like and neither would be allowed into most places.
There are many app options for emergency alerts that contact emergency services, sound an alarm and flash lights to draw attention to your emergency, and require a PIN password to deactivate. This requires the intervention of passers-by to rescue you so it’s best paired with personal self-defense plans.
Finally, practice is imperative. Adrenaline and emotion can take over when in a dangerous situation so it’s best to have practiced whatever tools and/or approaches you plan to use in the event of a personal emergency. To carry a knife you don’t know how to use puts you in more danger than if you had no weapon. To use a pepper spray for the first time when in an emergency renders you unprepared and vulnerable.
It’s just appalling that a woman has to do this much prep work to simply feel safe on the streets of America, but until we see reform and a shift in acceptable behavior, any smart woman is ready and prepared to defend herself whether in a dark alley, a stranger’s back seat, or at her own front door getting out her keys!