I feel very fortunate to live in a time when women feel very empowered and are speaking up about their survival stories and demanding justice. But, there is still much work to be done and women are still assaulted at a much higher percentage than men.
Trigger warning: I’ll be sharing some tough statistics today and if that is not something you’re comfortable with, go ahead and scroll down to the 5 self-defense tips and tools I have and recommend.
Whenever I talk about this with people, I hear the inevitable, “But you can’t live in fear.” In my humble opinion, this is more often said by people who have been very blessed to grow up in very safe areas and have not witnessed the type of crime rampant in many parts of the country and world. I have certainly had some tough experiences growing up and remember my mom always saying, “Pick a brother,” when I asked to go anywhere. While I am so grateful to live and raise my kids in an area with a higher than average safety index, I take every precaution I can to protect my children and myself.
Some people might think I go too far – but as a former teacher, we also ran code red drills every year in case of an active shooter. As hard as those drills were, I felt they were necessary given our current climate. I feel the same away about women having the tools to protect themselves and their children if needed.
Facts on Female Safety:
If you feel like you are always looking over your shoulder and question simple activities that men don’t think about, such as walking your dog at night or going for a run in a remote area, you’re not alone.
You’re also not crazy; women are assaulted at a much higher percentage than men. Here are some harsh facts from RAINN:
- 1 out of 6 women have been the victims of attempted or completed rape
- 82% of juvenile victims are female; 90% of adult rape victims are female
- Females ages 16-19 are 4 times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault.
- Women ages 18-24 who are college students are 3 times more likely than women in general to experience sexual violence. Females of the same age who are not enrolled in college are 4 times more likely.
While sexual assaults are more often committed by people the woman or child knew and/or trusted, there are the cases that are random, particularly when you start looking at the college aged victim.
But, it’s not just sexual assault, women/female minors are also targeted at a much higher rate when looking at statistics for theft with assault and kidnapping.
5 Tips for Self-Defense:
I personally own and carry any number of these 5 tools with me when I am out. I always have at least one. Some of my friends carry one exclusively or also have several. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
But, before I dive in, it’s important to know a few important self-defense tips more powerful than any tool you can buy. My dad was a 3rd degree black belt and he constantly repeated the same self-defense tips to me. Now, I share them with every young girl and woman that I can. As someone who has known far too many women who have been victims, I have great respect for what my dad taught me and feel every woman should know these things.
1. Pay Attention:
Obvious? Maybe not. I can’t tell you how many people I see out alone with two ear buds in and their heads down staring at their phones. You’ve shut down all of your basic senses: you’re not looking, you’re not listening, and you’re not staying in tune with your environment. Someone could sneak right up on you before you could do anything.
Pay attention. Watch your surroundings. When you step out of a mall, scan the parking lot before you leave. Before you walk up to your car, pause and look around it and under if it it’s a tall SUV. Got kids? Get them in as fast as you can, close doors behind them, then get your stroller in. Be listening and paying attention to your environment the entire time.
2. Use Your Keys:
Always thread your keys through your fingers so you have a makeshift weapon with your fist. If someone approaches you, you put those keys wherever you can – starting with the eyes, the nose and the throat. At the same time, kick out their knees.
3. Throw Your Purse:
Since you have your keys, your purse can be thrown. Most assaults during a theft happen over money or wanting your bag or wedding ring. When I was a kid, I watched someone rob a fast food joint at gunpoint. and then go around and take the purses and wedding rings from several people in the booths.
If someone wants your purse or ring, take it off and throw it as far as you can away from yourself and then run the other way while they go after it. You can replace things. You can’t replace people. If you have your keys separate, you can still get away. ALWAYS KEEP YOUR KEYS SEPARATE.
4. Scream Fire:
Sad, but true, people will respond to cries of a fire more than someone screaming help. Scream Fire at the top of your lungs.
5. Watch Your Drink:
This is a big one, friends. I have personally known smart, incredible women who were on dates with people they thought they could trust or at a gathering of college friends they thought they knew when someone slipped something in their drink that changed their lives forever.
My dad drilled this one in deep – if you put down your drink and look away – you DO NOT PICK IT BACK UP. If you get up to use the restroom, you request a new one. If you are at a bar, you hold that drink and if you put it down, you do not drink it. If someone wants to buy you a drink, you go and pick it up yourself.
This is not just for groups or first dates. One of the worst stories I heard was a third date a girl was on with someone she had met at church. It’s a simple thing you can do and teach your daughters. People rarely even notice if you switch out your drink and if they do notice, honestly, why are they watching your drink?
5 Tools for Self-Defense:
Still, I understand the idea that we shouldn’t live in fear. But, if you’ve ever had a moment of fear or panic that someone is following you or you think someone put something in your drink on a date, you’ll suddenly understand that feeling prepared is worth its weight in gold.
Here are the tools I own and use and recommend. These are affiliate links as well, but none of these brands have sponsored this post. Always check local laws for what’s legal to use in your area and use at your own risk. You are responsible for yourself and the people around you. Any tool you buy can be used against you.
I don’t leave my house to walk my dog or go for a run without this. This baby is incognito. It looks and works just like a flash light, but at the touch of a button, it’s a stun gun. And, let me tell you the sheer sound it makes when you press the stun gun button makes all the hairs on your arms stand up. It made me jump back the first time I fired it up, because the sound is like electric bolts going crazy.
This is not just for attackers. If you are afraid of wayward dogs or animals, you can use this, too, and the sound alone will send that dog running.
But, it’s ferocious – so store it carefully out of the reach of children. If you’re using it with children present, keep it turned off when you don’t need it and if it’s on – do NOT let children play with it.
Find the stun gun flashlight .
Yup, we’re going there. I always carry my mace. Now, remember that if you spray someone, you will also get some in your own eyes and anyone near you – even your kids. So, be very careful.
This Mace has some great features for self-protection, including:
- Stream reaches up to 12 feet
- 20 bursts per can
- Effects last 45 minutes
- Maximum strength 10% OC pepper
- Invisible UV dye to mark assailants
Probably doesn’t need to be said – but keep away from children.
There’s a few brands of this one, but I like the gold clamp and look of this one the best. Hey, aesthetics matter when you’re protecting yourself, lol.
These little sirens are like a whistle 2.0. They let out a screech so high pitched and loud, it’ll go 1,000 feet. It’s easy to use, just pull it down and off it goes. This is not your average car alarm, this sound is so piercing, people have no choice but to react. It’s like a jet engine 100 feet overhead. Plus, the strobe light can be put in their eyes to blind them.
In addition, it can be set off multiple times and 40 minutes continuously before batteries need to be replaced. Now, with any siren, you want to assume that it only buys you a couple seconds of shock factor in which you are going to jab them in the eyes, take your palm and jam it up their nose to break it, or get your mace. Do not assume the sound will protect you completely, particularly if you’re in a loud or rural area.
Check out Birdie here.
Remember the keys in your fingers? Put one of these on your keychain for more jabbing power. Thread this aluminum jabber in between your fingers with your keys and you’ll be able to reach farther and do more damage.
Go for delicate areas – eyes, nose, ears, throat. Kick out the knees. Bite. You got this.
Big packs mean you can put them on all your keychains for everyone in the house.
Get an aluminum self-protection keychain here.
This is a newer one for me and I like that it has a lot of options in one. For example, it has a seatbelt cutter tool – it takes some muscle, but with adrenaline, you’ll get the job done.
It also has a siren that can reach 600 feet, a car window breaker that you can also use to jab someone with and keychain loop. Sometimes a tool that tries to do too much in one can water down each of the components, so I would pair this with mace or something else, too.
Check out the Stinger here.
It is my opinion that every woman and child should be taught basic self-defense skills and be equipped with the knowledge and tools to watch their surroundings, be aware of attacker behavior, and learn the skills that can potentially save their lives.
If this kind of post is useful to you – let me know. I’ll add to this series with more info on self-defense tips and more.
Stay safe out there,