Editor’s Note: I often write about a woman’s right to choose her own self-defense. Although my choice is a firearm, not everyone feels comfortable making that choice. Jess Walter is one of those, and she is an advocate for stun guns. Take a look at her well thought out article.
~ Laura Carno
How You Can Protect Yourself from Attackers
by Jess Walter
Women should not have to fear abuse or violence, wherever they are in the world. The unfortunate truth is that they do, and with good reason. This is why women need to be able to learn how to defend themselves against attackers. There are ways of protecting yourself that could save your life if something ever occurs.
What Do the Statistics Say?
Every year, an average of 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. This all adds up to more than 10 million people being abused within just one year. These statistics come straight from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. You can see why its important women are able to defend themselves from physical abuse. Another shocking statistic is the fact that there are over 20,000 calls made to domestic violence hotlines across the nation every single day. This is an appallingly high number of calls from terrified women across the country.
How Should You Protect Yourself?
There are a few ways to protect yourself, however, not all will be viable depending on your situation. If your abuser is controlling you, then it might be difficult to take a self-defense class. Arming yourself is a possibility, though. Weapons like stun guns are available throughout most of the country, but you will need to check the laws relevant to your state before purchasing one. You wouldn’t want to be caught with a stun gun in a state where they are illegal. With a stun gun, you will be able to stop your assailant without mortally wounding them. After this, the police will be able to deal with them, and you will be able to stay safe.
Pepper spray, or Mace, is legal to carry in all states, though some states still have certain restrictions on it. This includes states like Arkansas, where it cannot exceed a weight of more than 4 ounces, or Delaware, where it can’t be possessed by minors and must only be used for self-defense. Despite this, it is a good alternative to a stun gun, and can be hidden discreetly in a bag or pocket. If you are traveling, then pepper spray must be in your baggage, and cannot be contained in carry-on bags or purses.
Have A Plan
It is also wise to make a safety plan. Planning in advance how you would respond in different situations can be the difference between getting away and serious harm. It is also a good idea to keep important emergency numbers like local Women’s Shelters with you at all times.