Legal Self Defense Weapons for WomenJul 16, 2021
In recent years, the number of women who have experienced sexual harassment has increased by the tenfold, and while the criminal justice system in this department may be improving, the number of women who experience sexual violence remains at a staggering 90%. More recent studies conducted in the UK, report that 97% of women experience some form of harassment at least once in their lives. With this surge in crimes of this nature, self defense is becoming a pivotal part of many women's lives.
What's Sexual Harassment
A common misunderstanding in this fields is the term "sexual harassment" itself, which many people may believe only encompasses assault or direct threats. Sexual harassment actually cover a wide variety of concerns, including: catcalling, inappropriate touching/comments, following, and more. In light of these situations, many people might consider carrying self defense weapons. When considering a self defense weapon, it is important to remember three key details; what self defense should one use, how to use said weapon, and where it is best suited for use.
Starting with what self defense weapon to use, the foremost concern is comfort. Different people have different comfort levels when it comes to carrying weapons.
One of the more dangerous options would be a firearm. Do note that many states have different laws surrounding the usage of a firearms, including permits, concealment, etc. and it goes without saying that most people would prefer not carrying a gun.
2. Pocket Knife
Another option is knives, which can be used to either threaten, or defend. There are, many types of knives (over 30, categorized into 12 types, in fact), but the best one for self defense would be any pocket knife. In most states, it is legal to carry a concealed foldable pocket knife, though fixed blades must be shown on a person. Take heed of the laws surrounding the carrying and concealment of weapons in regards to whatever state or country you live in, and be sure to practice proper safety when handling knifes.
There are also weapons designed for the sole purpose of self defense, such as kubatons and pepper spray. With kubatons, a common misconception is that they are used to fight off attackers. Many kubatons that you'll find for sale are blunt-edged, short, and made of aluminum (they also don't really scream 'scary self defense weapon' to keep away would be attackers). While kubatons aren't made for stabbing, the point is to have some weapon in case you do get caught in a violent situation. Many of these advertised kubatons are used for breaking windows, which is a niche situation that many women may not find themselves in.
4. Expandable Batons
Another recommended weapon is Expandable batons, which can be helpful in close combat and shooing away unwanted people or animals. They're also a good option for those afraid of accidentally hurting people around (as would be common with knives and firearms. Like other weapons, each state has it's own laws of the concealment and carrying of these weapons.
5. Pepper Spray
Pepper spray, on the other hand, is made to threaten and hurt attackers. Comprised of oil based capsaicin peppers, small canisters of pepper spray shoot a mist-like stream of the contents into attacker's eyes, rendering them blind for a short amount of time. This can give you enough time to run away and/or call for help. There are still precautions that should be taken when using pepper spray. One is the rebounding spray if you are standing too close to the attacker. Pepper spray, being a mist, can create a cloud which can hurt the person using it as well. Additionally, it is important to keep pepper spray on hand, in an easy to access location, as it won't do you any good lost in the depths of your purse or car's glove box.
Another alternative is tasers. Tasers can be used to stun attackers, using an average of 50,000 volts to electrocute them which provides an ideal time frame to run away or get help. Many tasers come in inconspicuous casing, such as cell phones, pens, etc. providing adequate concealment. A downside to tasers is that they are usually close combat, as you need to touch the attacker with the electrifying tip to do any damage. A crucial point about tasers is that anyone touching the tase victim will not feel the electrical shock. This means that is an attacker hold your wrist to a wall, and you use your other had to tase them, you will not feel any effects of the taser.
No matter what weapon you decide best suits you and your lifestyle, it is important to know when to use it. While this can usually be left for better judgement and common sense, you can't ever be too sure. While it's possible to drown in a foot of water, one would have to be pretty stupid to accomplish it unwillingly. Sexual harassment can take place nearly anywhere, but in public indoor places, it wouldn't be advisable to brandish a knife or shoot pepper spray. As previously stated, use common sense (I'm sure you have some), and obey state laws and/or workplace regulations. Most self defense weapons are best used when you are alone, such as walking home from work or going towards your car at night. Remember to keep your self defense weapon(s) within reach, so that you won't be fumbling around searching at the worst of times.
In a world where tensions are high, and crime only becomes more pertinent with each passing day, tools for self defense are a must have. Whether it be a knife or a small can of pepper spray, knowing how and where to use these tools can save your life in dangerous situations. And as the felony cases rise, and the justice system remaining at a near neutral stance, women need to be more prepared than ever.
Lala, Inaya. “Legal Self Defense for Women” Defense Ninjas, 16 Jul. 2021, https://www.defenseninjas.com/blog/self-defense-weapons