When you hear women talking about fighting back against the slow but steady rise of violent sexual assault and robbery, the first statement you usually hear is "I'm going to go buy a gun!"
It only makes sense for women to be concerned, because while violent gun crime is actually down in most places, assault -- sexual and otherwise -- is slowly creeping up year by year. The number of rape incidents in the US reached 90,000 in 2015. That breaks down to 10 - 12 occurrences of rape every hour of every day, all year long. In the next hour, twice that many American women will face some sort of sexual assault. It's important to carry self defense weapons, not just at home but while you're out and about.
Here's the problem with buying a gun. Guns don't work very well up close in hand-to-hand combat, and you're just as likely to injure yourself or someone else in that situation. Guns are also easy to spot and easy to steal: statistics show you're much more likely to have your gun taken away than use it to stop a violent crime. Even a stranger can get the drop on you and take your gun away. Worse yet, if you have a home with children, guns are just a little bit too easy to cause injury and death. Suicides also tend to go up with a gun in the home.
The only sure way to protect yourself at all times, up close and in hand-to-hand physical combat, is to weaponize the items in your purse or pocket. It's easier than ever to conceal non-lethal self defense weapons that aren't detected until you're already striking. Yelling for help doesn't do much good. And you still may be overpowered no matter how physical you are. There's almost no item you can't carry around with you that can be weaponized to leave your assailant not just injured, but incapacitated. Remember, your number one goal is to survive. Let's look at 10 excellent ways to catch your attacker off guard.
What's the difference between a tactical knife and any old garden-variety knife? For one thing, they don't look like knives.
Only at the last second will your attacker realize that your hairbrush or pen is actually concealing a sharp weapon. Stabbing your attacker at close range is actually more damaging than a bullet because you have more control over the placement of the injury and its severity; a penknife can literally attack with the surgical precision of a scalpel.
Most tactical knives can also clip onto your belt, or clothing, or the inside of a purse so that you can place it on your person for maximum effect and grab it quickly when something goes down. Follow the 3/3 rule when selecting a blade: 3mm thick and 3 inches long.
That'll keep your knife light enough but sturdy enough to inflict damage. These knives are also much easier to get through unnoticed than a gun is, so you can bring it just about anywhere.
Like a tactical knife, an attack pen is easily concealed. In fact, tactical pens work perfectly fine as writing instruments, meaning that for all your attacker knows, you don't have anything worse to come at him with than a ballpoint.
However, a good tactical pen has not only a good heft but a point that can easily punch a hole in a sturdy cardboard box. Ever seen someone opening a shipping container like this? It makes a deep hole, and when you pull back will rip right open. If you are in an extremely close range this is the one to go with. It will almost disappear inside your hand until the moment you need it!
This is the classic personification of female self defense weapons, easily able to blind your attacker long enough to get away. The even better news is that technology has improved the delivery output quite a bit: they're inexpensive, easily portable, and long-lasting, and they can also be camouflaged as a normal item in your purse -- say, a lipstick case.
A large pepper spray will give you nearly 20 shots with a range of 10 to 12 feet, but some can go as far as 18 feet. They'll have a shelf life of about three to five years, making it a real bargain. It's important to remember that neither pepper spray nor mace will debilitate your attacker for a long time; just long enough for you to get away. Like hot sauce, these items only get more potent with each passing year: 2 to 5 million Scoville units, which basically means 2 to 5 weaponized Ghost Chili peppers right in the eyes.
Stun guns are low-cost self defense weapons. They work best at very close range. The electrical shock only lasts as long as you maintain contact, however. Their design also makes them easier to hide out in your purse as a seemingly everyday item.
And they're still pretty potent: a stun gun for women masquerading as a lipstick case can deliver millions of volts into your assailant, whereas a larger one that looks like a cell phone can deliver even more. Be sure to check your state's laws on stun guns, though, because they're not always legal to use.
Like the baton, mace, and stun gun, the TASER weapon is a technology developed in police and security forces and eventually allowed to go public.
The sheer power of one is hard to deny: unlike a stun gun, which merely causes intense pain, the TASER device has the capacity to shut down the nervous system entirely, completely incapacitating your attacker. TASER devices also have a better range of 15 feet in most cases. All of this makes TASER weapons more expensive, but they also are the best self defense weapons available.
They can sometimes look cute and harmless, but a tactical keychain is really just a revisitation of the old brass knuckles concept. Modern technology takes the heavy weight of brass out of the equation, however, leaving you with a durable plastic keychain with holes to fit your fingers through and sharp spikes on the outside.
Walk around with one wrapped around your fist as you go to your car and you'll be ready for whatever happens. They also come in a variety of colors!
Speaking of weaponized keychains. Personal alarms weren't usually thought of as effective deterrence to physical assault, but technology has stepped up to save the day. They can be as loud as 130 decibels. It'll definitely get everyone's attention in the area!
Personal protection has also made its way into your app store, and while the alarms on those aren't as loud, they come with the added ability to notify everyone on social media about what's happening, so you can instantly mobilize an entire community of friends if need be.
Flashlights don't seem like much of a deterrent either -- until you realize that a modern handheld flashlight that can fit in the palm of your hand is capable of delivering up to 500 lumens of powerful light. That's 6 times the normal level of what is considered temporarily blinding! Again, police use these powerful flashlights to illuminate an entire area while keeping themselves unseen. The process can work much the same for you.
The high-tension plastics used to create tactical keychains can also apply that brass knuckle effect to just about anywhere on your body. That ring on your finger could flip up with just one quick motion to reveal a potentially damaging spike, or the concealed spikes in your shoelaces could be used to deliver a swift and debilitating kick to anyone foolish enough to try and overpower you. Or conceal your ninja throwing spikes on your arm for quick and easy access.
If you're still thinking about weaponizing that keychain, look into this: a long nylon cord with a seemingly innocuous ball of yarn at the end. It looks like the kind of thing your cat would love to play with. In reality, the Monkey Ball, as it's known, is an inch thick and made of pure steel perfectly capable of knocking an attacker unconscious with the flick of a wrist. These can go anywhere you like, inexpensive and effective and in a variety of colors. Loop one to your belt or your keychain and stun your assailant before he knows what's hit him.
For anyone in a situation where they could be easily overpowered, these unique self defense weapons and others like them evolving every day are a great way to take the ordinary and transform it into a powerful attack tool. Go on the offensive with your assailant while maintaining the element of surprise and not weighing yourself down in your day-to-day travels! Check the laws in your state and county and grab some of these non-lethal self defense weapons that can give you the advantage... not just physically, but tactically.