Here, in order of cost (from free on up), are some tips and suggestions for personal protection and self defense techniques.*
1. Stay alert and notice your environment. Always! You don’t have to buy anything in order to do this, so there’s no excuse not to pay attention to your surroundings. Walk with confidence and strength, which both tell a would-be mugger that you’re NOT an easy target. Even in the wild, animals stalk the weakest and slowest of the heard. Carrying yourself with a strong purpose can be your first step in avoiding a confrontation.
2. Listen to your gut / instincts / 6th sense. Too many people say they “had a bad feeling” before being mugged or held up. If you feel like something is wrong, then do something about it! Don’t walk out to your car if its pitch black and you have an awkward feeling. Ask for help or call someone on your cell phone and let them know your location, the situation, and then figure out a better course of action.
3. Since you’ve read number 1, and you’re already aware of the situation, then it’s time to do something about it. If you notice something strange or out of place (someone walking directly towards you and there’s nobody else around OR a team of two staged next to your vehicle), run or try to get to safety. Again, call for help and remove yourself from harms way.
4. If you simply can NOT remove yourself from the situation, then you might be faced with a close confrontation. This is where self defense products can help. You’ve already done everything you can to avoid the situation, but you can’t get away and the potential threat is enclosing on your space.
Note: If the assailant is armed with a gun, then its likely best to comply with their requests and try to remove yourself from the situation as fast as possible (give them your money, keys, or whatever it is they want) and get out of there.
5. At this point you should be preparing yourself for defense.
Note: You'll have to choose your item of self defense based upon what you feel comfortable with combined with your budget.
The most economical option is generally mace or pepper spray. Simply having this ready in hand might change an attackers mind. If not, the idea would be to use it and run.
Pros: easy to carry, inexpensive, if sprayed in the eyes can temporarily blind an attacker and allow you to get away
Cons: while some have a 3-6 feet range, strong winds can quickly alter the effectiveness of this product if your not close enough to the attacker
6. Stun guns would be the next price level of protection, and offer the ability to electrically “stun” an attacker, although direct contact is needed in order to use such a device.
Pros: easy to use and carry, intimidating when tested in front of someone (the electrical flash is loud and bright, similar to lightning), can disable a person long enough for you to get away
Cons: must be used in direct contact (you much touch the prongs to an attacker), battery powered means you will need to recharge or replace batteries at some point
7. The best form of protection we can recommend is the TASER®, since it can be used at a distance (or in direct contact) and it immobilizes the attacker. It actually shoots out two electrical probes that are attached to wires which then deliver an electrical pulse. Police units have also started adopting these as an alternate non-lethal form of defense.
Pros: keeps you at a safe distance from the attacker, not largely effected by the wind, small and effective, can still be used as a stun gun on a second attacker or if you miss your primary target
Remember: stay alert, remove yourself from the threat, and if you can't run to safety, then get your defenses ready!
Not all personal protection devices have to be used to defend yourself! We've read and heard many stories of people helping others in distress as well as providing help with law enforcement trying to capture criminals.
*The information above if provided solely for informational purposes only. Ultimately you will have to make your own decision in any self defense situation, and we hope that it will result in a safe outcome.