The world is a crazy place. There is so much bad stuff going on. I feel like at least once a week (if not more) I’m seeing some kind of story about an attempted abduction in a grocery store parking lot or a suspicious man following a woman through Walmart. Just the other week, I read a story about a woman who was kind to an older lady in the grocery store. When she got out to her car, the older woman offered to help her put groceries in her car, which she accepted because who would think an older woman was being malicious? Suddenly, she realized that the older woman was pulling her ten year old away from their van and towards another car. At the grocery store. In the middle of the day. In broad daylight.
Criminals are getting bolder and bolder. It’s like they have less to lose? I’m not sure. Maybe it’s that all of this information is always readily accessible with our pocket computers so that’s why it seems like crime is running rampant. But really, trafficking is getting out of hand (like trafficking at all isn’t already out of hand).
All of that being said, one of the things I am a huge advocate for is self defense. Women (and men) need to be prepared for situations, but what are your options? Most people jump straight to “I don’t want to carry a gun”. Ok, cool. You don’t have to carry a gun. There are plenty of non-lethal self defense weapons out there that you can use to protect yourself.
First, take a self defense class. Get a group of your friends together and take a class. Learn to get out of the holds, where to punch someone, and all the little tricks that would be useful in a compromising situation. We’ve all seen Miss Congeniality so we know the basics (SING!), but practicing them is KEY. I’ve taken quite a few classes and was just telling my husband that I could use a refresher. If you don’t use a skill, you lose it.
“But not all of those moves are effective.” Gosh darn it, you’re right! That’s where you have a back up (or even a first resort). Non-lethal weapons. There are so many choices…
- Pepper spray/Mace. Effective, relatively inexpensive, available in keychain form. It can stop an attacker and give plenty of time to make an escape. Possible issues are spray blowback (you get it in your eyes), not having it on your person all the time, and also efficacy issues (not everyone is super impacted because it’s made from peppers… what if your attacker has a higher tolerance…?).
- Stun gun. This is something I carry in my purse all the time and take with me while running. I purchased one years ago from the company Damsel in Defense (good company with many self defense items, check it out). Since then, their prices have gone up so I would just stick with Amazon for this item. I really like this stun gun because it is rechargeable, has a disable pin (so if it is taken from you it can’t be used on you), and a flashlight. Perfect.
- Kubaton. Also something I carry on my person at all times because it’s attached to my keys. If I leave my purse (and stun gun) in the car, at least I have my kubaton. It’s a close range blunt force weapon. It uses pressure to disable your attacker… and my kid also chews on it sometimes. If you go this route, look for a class on how to use it effectively. Use this in place of keys between your fingers (which is a bad idea anyways… don’t do that).
- Wasp Spray. This may not be something you want to carry in your purse, but you can if you’re a big purse kind of gal. However, many times an attack can happen in your home– this is a fact! Have some wasp spray handy. It has a very long, very accurate stream. Get that sucker straight in the eyes.
- There are tons more weapons… pocket knives, baseball bats, retractable batons… just use the power of Google.
If you choose to go the lethal route, more power to you. Go to a ladies’ night at your local gun range and have a fun time with target practice. My one piece of advice: NEVER get a conceal and carry purse. If your purse is taken, so is your power. Wear your gun on your person in a holster or in the fancy clothing made specifically to conceal a gun like this or this.
I know, this is a weird topic for a mom blog, but what could be more important than protecting yourself and the sweet little one(s) that you created?
Take care of yourself. Be aware. Be observant. Be alert.
Disclaimer: Check your state laws as to what is/isn’t legal to carry around.