We all have them; bags, scarves, jewelry…what about your personal protection accessories?
Let’s start with the most basic…a flashlight. How can you make sure you always have one when you need it? If you have upgraded your cell phone in the last couple of years, look for the Flashlight App for Android or I-Phone. I carry a flashlight but now I have one on my phone! It even has varying brightness. Great if I get caught in a dark area and need to be able to see!
I recently bought a personal alarm from Amazon. It is a small box (with a built in flashlight – notice a theme here?) and a short lanyard strap. In an emergency, you pull the pin attached to the lanyard and throw the alarm away from you while it makes a piercing siren-like noise! Do I really think it will attract attention in an age where no one blinks when a car alarm goes off? Yes! First, it is louder than the average car alarm, and it sounds more like my home alarm system than a car alarm. If you heard that, wouldn’t you look? The strap can fit around your wrist, loop on your purse, though a belt loop… I advocate tossing the alarm away from you because to silence it you re-insert the pin. If the pin is attached to me, I want the alarm far enough away to make the aggressor have to choose. The alarm or me?
Have you made copies of all of your ID, front and back? Is it stored in a secure location? What if you lost your wallet? I don’t carry a wallet anymore. If I get mugged, I have a little kiss lock purse with my cash. I figure he, or she, is more interested in my money than me, and if I can toss the cash one direction and run the other…I have a chance. But, if I lost my whole purse, at least I have copies of the cards (that I carry in a card case) stashed in my gun safe.
Yes, I carry a gun most everywhere I go. However, I have to meet a threat with a like response, and a gun isn’t always the answer. I have options. Some more serious than others. I can scream, loudly. But, I probably wouldn’t just scream, I would scream “STRANGER”. We used to teach our kids to yell Stranger if they were approached. Why not an adult? I can bark orders like a drill instructor and tell someone to stay back. Of course, I practice that alone in my car. Yes, I get strange looks at the stop lights, but…so what? I need to know how to call on the voice when I need it.
I carry a whistle on my keychain. Recently in a class I asked the ladies how long it took them to find their keys. I pulled my purse out from under a table and they all said, “You Win!” I had a fairly large Dooney and Bourke satchel. But, I found my keys in about 1.5 seconds because there were attached to the convenient little strap that D&B has inside the bag. In a parking lot, 1.5 seconds it too long. The keys should be in my hand before I leave the store or my house or my car. My car has a keyless start (it has a pushbutton based on the remote being within sensor range) so I have to remind myself to have the keys out.
Anything can be used to defend yourself with a little creativity. I know it is a waste of good Starbucks, but throw your coffee in his face (hint-loosen the lid first). Send a shopping cart flying at his legs. Take off the great looking stiletto (both of them actually, makes it easier to run) and aim for the face or eye. Would you want to keep coming if a shrieking, stiletto-wielding woman was focused on you?
Do what you need to do to protect you and your family, get to safety and then … CALL THE POLICE! Do not wait. He could be out there trolling for an easier target, or he could be calling to report a crazy lady threatening him with a shoe! Get your side out first.
Then, go home, and be grateful you are safe!