Tips and Tools To Keep Women Safe.
ASE subscriber Ellen K. suggested that we write about personal safety. Sadly, I am reading a lot about attacks on women these days.
I love to walk, and sometimes I am alone. The best safety advice is to avoid trouble by sticking to brightly lit, populated areas. Wear shoes which allow you to move quickly to avoid people who make you nervous. Do not flash valuables. Wait for a safe time to get cash out of the bank machine. Zip up pockets. Be aware of your surroundings – which means you cannot plug in two earphones and get lost in an audiobook. If someone challenges you, look the person in the eye and try to diffuse the situation – this is not a moment to get belligerent.
Even if you are careful, you could find yourself in an uncomfortable situation. For those moments – here are some safety hacks.
My iPhone has an S.O.S. feature which I can call up if I sense danger. I can walk with the S.O.S. screen open. If I click it, my phone automatically calls nearby emergency response and texts the people I have asked to be notified. It calls 911 in the US and the appropriate numbers in other countries. On my iPhone X, when I ‘pinch’ the phone (press and hold the side button and either of the volume buttons simultaneously) I get a screen with three options: Slide Power Off, Medical ID, Emergency SOS. Here is how to use it on your iPhone.
Athena describes itself as a wearable safety accessory. If you feel threatened, you press the button on the small round device which sends real-time GPS tracking information. It sends a text message to the people you have designated. Another click and it will sound an alarm and hopefully deter the attacker. Another click and it calls 911. About Athena.
Athena comes in all black or black with a rose gold or antique silver edge. One Athena is $129 or buy four for $465.
Athena works to make women safe by partnering with non-profits which teach empathy and healthy relationships to young children – aimed at reducing violence.
Make loud sounds to summon help and scare an attacker away
You activate the Vigilant Personal Alarm and Back-Up Whistle by pushing the button. Yes, you can turn it off if you make a mistake. There is also an old fashioned back-up whistle which you can blow. Vigilant comes in pink, black and red. $15.99.
When you pull off the top of this SOS Personal Alarm, it emits a 120 decibel alarm – that is about the same as having an ambulance nearby. It will call attention to you and hopefully deter an attacker. You can end the alarm by replacing the cap. One SOS Personal Alarm $7.99.
You blow into Wind Storm Whistle to make a very loud sound to scare away attackers and summon help. Wind Storm comes in three colors. Each whistle is $5.99.
Light up the scene
This Surefire Defender Black 300-Lumens LED Flashlight gets you out of the dark immediately, attracts attention and may temporarily blind an attacker. The bezel is designed to be used for self-defense, but I hope none of you ever needs it. 300 Lumen Flashlight $139.99.
Defend yourself with Pepper Spray
Pepper Spray is cayenne pepper in spray form and it is sometimes called oleoresin capsicum (OC). Postmen began to use it in the 1980’s to repel dogs, and law enforcement uses it widely. It is not lethal and has no lasting effects – but it will make an attacker miserable, struggling to breath and sometimes temporarily blind. You need to be careful because you do NOT want to spray by mistake. Note: You cannot travel with pepper spray in your carry-on luggage and it cannot be shipped to New York or Massachusetts. This is serious stuff and must be stored away from children.
The Defender Red Pepper Spray reaches 8’ and says that is has a stream and spatter pattern which prevents blow back. One spray canister $11.33.
This Little Viper Pepper Spray Bracelet contains 3-6 bursts of spray which stream to three feet. One bracelet $21.99.
Hand to hand?
I am not sure how I feel about the next product, but women runners say they use them to feel safe.
The GoGuarded rings has a serrated edge and is essentially a way for you to defend yourself with a small knife. Each ring is $12.99. Shipping is free if you buy two.