Any woman who ever finds themselves walking alone, for any reason, has probably encountered a situation in which they wish they had some sort of self defense product to protect themselves with. Women who work nights, walk on college campuses, travel, or live alone will inevitably have this experience. There are a few common items that are not terribly expensive, and could improve your ability to protect yourself in the event you are approached or attacked.
Pepper spray, or oleoresin capsicum, is a very common self defense item that is carried by many women. Small canisters are easily obtainable, and fit easily into the palm of your hand, your pocket or your handbag. One quick shot of pepper spray to the face, and your assailant will be temporarily blinded and disabled by the burning effects, allowing you the precious moments that you may need in order to make an escape. The effects of pepper spray can last for up to 45 minutes, and some products actually have a dye additive that can help police identify suspects, even if they try to wash it off. The element of surprise is definitely in your favor with pepper spray. Pepper spray is non-lethal, and legal in most states, but you should check the local laws in your area before purchasing.
Another non-lethal option, stun guns will send a sharp shock into your attacker, temporarily immobilizing and disabling them, or weakening their grip so that you can get away. Using a stun gun requires closer contact than pepper spray, but it can be an extremely effective self defense product. You can find stun guns small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Some stun guns are made to look like a cell phone, so that they do not look like a weapon, though they are handy enough to use on a moment’s notice.
Carrying a personal alarm is a smart choice for all women. Personal alarms that are in the form of electronic pocket whistles can add a layer of safety when walking alone, home alone or in any other situation where self protection is necessary. These powerfully loud devices will emit shrieking sounds, up to 120dB, and will continue to sound for as long as the buttons are activated. Personal alarms are usually battery operated alarms and will alert anyone within blocks that there is some sort of dangerous situation, hopefully deterring any attacker and allowing you to get away from the danger. Personal alarms are non-lethal, and are legal in all states.
A kubotan is a small baton, similar to a policeman’s night stick. Those women who are more physically fit or confident in their own physical self defense abilities may be able to effectively use a kubotan to deter an assailant. This type of self defense weapon is often carried in keychain form, which makes it very handy for women walking alone—it’s quite common to have your keys handy, in this case your weapon would be, too.
The bottom line is that you should take every precaution with your personal safety. The items mentioned in this article are only a few of the options that are available. You should always review proper usage guidelines, and/or take a self defense course that can help you be prepared in the event of an attack. You can never be too prepared or too cautious. Ideally, you will be able to avoid situations that will place you in harm’s way, but from time to time it may be impossible to avoid. In that case, it is critical that you properly protect yourself or be able to escape to safety quickly.