One in three U.S. women will be the victim of a violent crime. Worldwide, women ages 15 to 44 are more likely to die from violence than they are from cancer, malaria, war and car accidents combined. These are very disturbing statistic indeed; however, if you are ever faced with an attacker, there are ways you can try to prevent any harm done to you.
Predators pick easy targets. Ones they believe will comply. Shock them with the element of surprise by explosively fighting back! They aren’t expecting it and fighting back might be your only chance of survival. In fact, according to the FBI, 86% of women who fight back escape unharmed. Now that’s a statistic we can get behind!
Get in the Right Mindset
Women are socially conditioned to be humble, meek and unassertive, nurturing and helpful—to act in ways that don’t offend anyone or hurt feelings. This is how many women find themselves stuck in uncomfortable situations. However, you are under NO obligation to be nice or engaging to anyone who approaches you. If something feels off, it probably is. Trust your intuition and get yourself out of there quick! For example, when waiting for an elevator and the doors open and someone inside is making you feel uncomfortable—you don’t have to get in the elevator!
Before being able to defend yourself, you will have to formulate a plan how you will react if attacked. It is not abnormal to freeze during a situation when your life is potentially in danger, but freezing can also be deadly. Getting into the right frame of mind now will help you in the future.
- Don’t be an easy target.
Bad guys like easy targets. Easy targets walk without purpose, with their heads down and hands in their pockets. Easy targets show fear and are self-conscious. If you aren’t sure of where you’re going—fake it! Take your keys out of your pocket or purse before walking to your car and keep your hands free of shopping bags.
- Remain situationally aware.
Situational awareness is when you are observing your surroundings and noting all the potential threats there may be. Once alerted of a threat, you have five seconds to act.
- Chose to fight.
Do not relinquish control to your attacker. Make your mind up now that you are not going to freeze. You are going to act and you are going to #FightLikeAGirl!
- Arm yourself.
When faced with an attacker, you need to do whatever it takes to escape. If this means fighting with your hands and kicking, so be it, but arming yourself with anything that will cause an injury—even high heels will work—is a surer method of ensuring you get away.
There are many different self-defense products made for women that are easy to use and carry and are also legal almost everywhere. Like using your hands, aim for the eyes, throat and groin. Whichever product or weapon you chose, know how to use it. Train with it and practice techniques that allow you to get the most out of that product.
Stun guns are a very popular choice for self-defense. Many people, both men and women carry one. They come in various strengths and sizes. This one by Firefield is smaller than the smallest iPhone and is lightweight. You can easily slip it into your back pocket or purse. This one delivers nine million volts. It has an on/off slider switch and an integrated LED light. Moving the switch all the way up gets the unit ready to zap, which is indicated by a red light. It plugs straight into the wall to recharge the nickel-cadmium batteries, which will recharge 5,000 times. An eight-hour charge gives the stun gun 72 hours of use.
- Works to bring down attacker
- Must be close to attacker
- Some people unaffected
- Remembering to keep batteries charged
Number one selling brand, Sabre, has many different pepper spray units to chose from. The 3-in-1 police strength allows you to blast your attacker from 10 feet away. It contains OC red pepper, CS military tear gas and a UV-marking dye. Pepper spray is legal to carry in most places, is quick to deploy and requires no learning curve on its operation. It’s safe to carry in your purse, pocket or on a keyring.
- Requires no strength or ability
- Keep your distance from threat
There are different factors involved in how well OC pepper spray works, such as weather, wind, and if a person is under the influence.
Stick ‘em with the pointy end!
With the Shuffle, you get a Kershaw-quality knife at much less the cost. With a 2.4” steel blade, you have plenty of sharp edge to stab and slice. The knife has an integrated bottle opener and flathead screwdriver. It is only 3.25 inches folded, so it will fit comfortably in smaller pockets. It only weighs 2. 8 ounces, so it isn’t a burden to carry. It does come in other colors if purple isn’t your thing.
- High quality
- Perfect for EDC
- Many every day uses for a knife
- Takes training and practice to use a knife effectively
- Must be up close to use
- Legalities of use and carry in certain states and places
This cute, but fierce cat ring comes about as discreet as it is going to get but still packs a mean punch. Those cat ears are sharp, so be mindful when you wear it. Made of steel alloy, no one will be the wiser you are ready to gouge their eyes out. This ring doubles as a glass breaker, as well.
- Wearable means you have your weapon easily accessible
- You don’t have to pull anything out or fumble with anything to strike.
- It’s tough, but lightweight
- Extremely affordable
- It’s small and unlikely penetrate
- You risk not injuring your attacker enough to get away
- Must be very close to attacker to be effective
A tactical pen is also an incredibly discreet choice, except all tactical pens are designed to look just like that…tactical. The color on this one from Smith & Wesson distracts from that some. Tactical pens are a popular choice because they are dual purpose and easy to carry. Most have sharp, pointy ends which can be used as a thrust, jab and impact self-defense tool, especially when you strike sensitive body parts and pressure points. The SWPEN3P uses replaceable ink cartridges and has an integrated Stylus tip to use on your tablet. It is 5.4 inches long and weighs 1.6 ounces. Made of T6061 aircraft aluminum for durability and lightweight.
- Extremely easy to carry and conceal
- Easily lost in a purse
- Must be close to attacker
- Striking with force might be difficult for some
All the above self-defense tools have been used to save a life. Remember when using any weapon, your objective is to stop the threat. The use of these tools gives you a better chance of getting away to safety. Always have a backup plan. Doubling up on any of these gives you an even better advantage.
Before purchasing any product made for self-defense, check your local and state laws for the legalities of owning and carrying any type of weapon.