9 Things Women Can Do To Protect Themselves

I was at the local market a few weeks ago picking up a few things for the house. As I was walking out to my car I noticed a lady putting her groceries into the trunk of her car.

woman wearing a neck knife

She was just going about her business without a care in the world probably thinking of what she had planned for dinner that night or what errands she would run in the morning.

As I passed I noticed that she had set her purse in the basket where one would normally place their child. You know, that little fold down plastic seat near the push handle. She was between the basket and her car.

This seems like a convenient position to be in. She could pick things out of her basket, and turn around and put them into her trunk easy enough, but she had made a tactical mistake that could have ended badly.

I thought to myself that if I were a thief, she was presenting me with an easy opportunity, and she would probably not have noticed until I was gone and she was done loading her groceries.

If these ladies made these mistakes, there was a good chance that there were other women making these same mistakes.

Not only that, but they were probably making other mistakes as well. In an attempt to better safeguard the woman I love I was inspired to write this article. I asked myself a question. What areas could of could women use the most protection? I came up with three.

There will be those times were no matter what precautions are taken there will be moments of vulnerability but with the right knowledge, training, and equipment she should be able to travel with confidence.

Become Your Own Bodyguard

Ladies, especially you single ladies, it is imperative you take on the mindset of becoming the agent in charge of your own protective detail. This is something Beyond simple situational awareness.

The world might be, statistically, becoming safer over time, but you can be forgiven for mistaking that if you take a look around our cities and much of the country.

The crime we do see is becoming increasingly vicious, and in some cases increasingly sophisticated.

An entirely new generation of criminals has been raised with technical acumen and a taste for subterfuge that would rival any of the masterminds of eras past. I am not talking about overblown cases of catcalling or sexual harrassment;

I am talking about some high-profile crimes-kidnappings, killings, sexual assaults – that have occurred just in the past decade are gruesome enough to freeze the blood of hardened soldiers.

Therefore, it is crucial that you become fluent in all elements of personal security, and act as if you were the one responsible for protecting a VIP. In this case, the VIP is you!

And you are someone worth protecting, but to do that you’re going to have to take an honest, no BS assessment of your life and how you do things, ruthlessly trimming out any behaviors that will see you targeted by violent criminals.

Sure, you might have lived your entire life up to this point without any problems or any run-ins with bad guys. That’s great, it really is.

However, good luck covers bad tactics, and a complete omission of personal security procedures is definitely a bad tactic.

Besides, you only need to move out one ring in your social sphere to find a woman who was herself a victim of a violent crime, or who knows someone that is personally close to her who is a victim of a violent crime.

At the risk of sounding dramatic, that person could have been you, and particularly for women living in high risk areas it probably will be.

Elephant in the Room: Disparity of Force

There is something of a hot button topic that is rarely discussed among women’s self-defense circles today except in the most dedicated and honest quarters.

Now, I think it is great that women are passionate about helping other women get ready to defend themselves and their loved ones, no doubt about it.

But I also think it is criminal to avoid talking about the inherent disparity of force that is likely to be endemic to the encounter a female defender is going to have.

Although the attacker or attackers might be any age and any sex, it is overwhelmingly likely that they will be male, younger and probably fitter as well.

Except in the most outlandish edge cases of a small weak male and a tall and powerfully built female, males enjoy enormous physical advantages over females when it comes to strength, endurance, aggression and durability.

To put it another way, when the fight gets physical, men hurt women, badly.

Women are at a huge net loss against any man when the conflict goes physical, when it goes hands-on. Imagine how much worse it could be if a woman is facing down a group of men…

This is something that is glossed over or rarely presented in anything approximating true to life fashion in training geared towards women learning to protect themselves.

I have attended some farcical training courses, tough street self-defense readiness stuff, that has a pushy or aggressive man in a padded suit basically leaning against a woman so she can deploy ineffectual chops, knees and strikes to the groin or throat.

Before you crack your knuckles and hit caps lock, yes, I know that everyone must start somewhere and sometimes gaining confidence for a neophyte is the foundational element in a new journey of personal preparedness.

But the fact of the matter is that 99% of women attending these courses will never take other training, and the people teaching these courses are selling them as a reality-based course when nothing could be further from the truth.

I myself have also attended and participated in (teaching as an attacker) truly realistic women’s self defense courses for street survival.

The setup was much the same with both participants wearing protective gear, but the fighting was full contact and free-flowing, far more indicative of what one might expect to encounter on the street.

In other words, it was just a self-defense course with no modification of standards or objective owing to sex or gender. Winning, surviving, was all that mattered.

The vast majority of women in these courses fared very poorly against their male role player attackers or training partners whenever the fight got physical.

A few ladies were lifelong martial artists, including one very seasoned street cop, and they acquitted themselves extremely well but the writing was on the wall. it was possible for them to win, but the deck was stacked heavily against them.

Your Soft Skills Should Beat Their Hard Skills

Accordingly, you must tailor your training and responses to account for this disparity of force.

To ignore it, pretend it doesn’t exist or to convince yourself that you, as a woman, are physically capable in the way that most men are is the summit of fantasy.

I know that is indeed the popular mindset, but reality will reassert itself should you find yourself in a legitimate life or death self-defense encounter.

This is one of those times you need to use every skill and asset you have to your advantage to avoid a nasty, close quarters fight. The mindset should be that if they even get close enough to lay hands on you you have already lost.

Think of it like foxes and wolves. a fox will never take a wolf in a stand-up fight, but the fox is so clever it doesn’t have to fight in order to survive.

I’m talking about soft skills, things like situational awareness, proper security procedure, using purpose made and improvised potential weapons when called for, avoiding high risk areas without a good game plan and taking informed, sensible safety precautions whenever you are in a vulnerable position.

There won’t be a police officer around to save you when you need one!

It doesn’t mean you’re going around living like a paranoid or like you are some deep cover spy who’s only moments away from detection and death.

It’s just a matter of accepting the reality of the encounter you are likely to have should you be attacked, and acting preemptively to mitigate it.

When you do it right, you’ll never be in danger, not really, and on the offhand chance that you do pass the victim interview that the bad guy gives you he’ll never get close enough to hurt you, and you’ll never allow yourself to be cornered.

The message you’re going to read about and the rest of this article will combine to give you that repertoire of soft skills that will give you an advantage over your attacker out of all proportion with your size and strength compared to his.

5 Things Women Can Do to Protect Themselves at Home

A person’s home is their castle. That should be the one place they can go to and retreat from the world. Home is the last safe haven. In this environment one can be completely relaxed, or at least they should be.

Every woman has the right to be completely and totally free in her own home.

And because there are those out there that would enter uninvited to disrupt that relaxation, she would do well to learn how to protect her home and keep herself safe within its walls.

However, you must be constantly implementing proper security procedure on a daily basis: personal security is never “set and forget!” Here are five tips you can use to protect herself in her home.

Get Good Locks

Sounds simple enough right? If you want to keep someone out just get good locks. Well with the right knowledge it is quite simple.

When you come into your home note every entrance and exit. I am not just talking doors either

Ask yourself this question: If I were trying to break into my house on a scale of one to 10, how easy would it be? If the answer is below five then you had better take measures to beef up your security.

A thief, who knows the tricks of the trade, would have next to no problem.

Start with your front and back doors. Are they the ones that are big and beautiful with six or eight small panes of glass? It is true that these look nice but they are a defense nightmare.

How many movies have you seen where someone uses an elbow or the heel of a shoe to break the little pane near the door knob, reach in with a gloved hand to unlock the deadbolt, and just stroll right in. Yes, it is common enough.

Maybe you have the solid wood door with a peephole or small window near the top. This is indeed a better choice but maybe your frame has seen some wear and tear.

Now your solid wood door and superman resistant titan deadbolt can be opened with a well-placed kick. The lesson here is that your lock is only as good as the door it is attached to. Door security is a combination of things.

You must have a solid door. A small viewing window near the top or a peephole is your best bet for seeing who is at your door.

A door that is half glass is really only half a door and waiting to be broken in. Your door frame must also be solid and functioning properly. It will not serve you well if it is falling apart and cracking.

Again a well-placed kick can possibly knock the frame out of the wall with the door still attached. So make sure your frame is intact. The frame itself is attached to 2X4 studs that hold the walls up.

A cheap and effective way to strengthen your door security is by taking three inch length screws and screwing in your hinges and strike plate. This way, the door itself will be anchored to the wall stud and not just the frame.

If you have a sliding patio door you only need two things to secure it. It should have a lock but do not count on it keeping anything out by itself.

First, make sure the door pane is made of Plexiglas or some other shatter resistant glass. Next you will want to cut a length of dowel rod to place in the track long enough to keep the door from sliding open if the lock fails.

A Dog

I am a dog person so I would get the dog first. A big dog!

They are great companions, loving, and loyal to a fault. But they are also our protectors and early warning systems.

A dog’s acute hearing and sense of smell will allow them to sense approaching people and vehicles long before you can hear or see them.

Also they are the one security system that will empathize with you and want to snuggle up to comfort you. As great as they are they do have a down side.

They require constant maintenance. You must feed them and care for them. Some breeds are naturally territorial and protective while others need training.

You will get out of them what you put into them. Having said that, I would recommend any dog you get for guard duty is trained for that task.

You must also keep in mind that they are living things and must sleep at some point. This can be a weakness to a cleaver thief.

Security Systems

Now, when you are away, dogs cannot call the cops if something happens. This is where an alarm system will surpass a dog. An alarm system will run twenty four hours a day every day.

Most services now have technicians that monitor your systems continuously and will contact you if something out of the ordinary happens.

Security systems must be armed and disarmed by a security code. This feature allows only those that have the code entry into your home.

There are even ways to have multiple codes for different people. That way you can know who was in your house and for how long. An integrated security system will monitor the opening and closing of every door and window in your house.

Though they are a bit more expensive, some services will mount cameras throughout your house to provide around the clock video surveillance.

This will allow you to identify intruders and have a video record of the events in the instance you need to sick the authorities on them.

Have An Invasion Plan

Now you have gone through the process of enhancing your home security. You have solid wood or steel doors and the strongest locks your money could buy.

You sprang for the alarm system and you bought the cutest red nosed pit-bull you have ever seen that will kill on command.

Now you lock up for the night and let your dog inside to roam the halls like a sentry. You snuggle into your bed and it’s off to the dream world. You are completely safe from the outside world right? Well I would say you are very close.

Locks are machines and nothing more. They are useful tools and they do their job, but just like all other machines they can fail at the most opportune moment.

Your guard dog, though a very intimidating and powerful ally, can be dealt with by a knowledgeable and skillful adversary. Dogs can be trained to attack an intruder but those that train them must have the knowledge to keep themselves safe.

Your alarm system can be thwarted by someone who knows the functions and weaknesses of the system. What do you do when you awake to glass breaking in the middle of the night, your dog is not barking, and your alarms is not sounding for some reason.

Bad guys will never play by the rules. So, in spite of your best security efforts, there are some that can overcome them. What do you do? You have a backup plan.

Plan “B” will be surviving contact with the enemy. There are three simple steps you must follow. It is up to you how you follow them but they should be in this order: RUN, HIDE, and FIGHT.

You may have the advantage of being in your own home but you will have no measure of the enemy’s strength and no time to gather that information.

If you cannot escape out then you must hide or fight. Stay out of sight. It is your house so you should know the best places to hide yourself.

When you do hide remember a few things. Remember that the human as an animal is a predator. Use that knowledge to your advantage.

Hide above or below the average eye height. People will look down more often but will seldom look up. Do not hide in obvious places, in the closet, under the bed, etc. The human eye senses movement first so when in doubt remain absolutely still.

Maintain noise discipline. In low light your eyes are mostly useless so you must rely on your ears. Unless one of you has night vision capabilities you will be functioning at about the same capacity.

So do yourself a favor and be absolutely quiet. Try not to knock anything over or brush up against anything.

Most importantly control your breathing. Controlling your breathing aids in keeping you calm so you won’t panic and you won’t pant loudly giving away your position.

Your last resort is to fight. If you cannot run and there is nowhere to hide then you are left with one option; you must fight for your life.

Make damn sure that you fighting is a last resort and you are not letting pride or ego cloud your judgement. Don’t get it in your head that someone has broken into your house and you are going to make them pay for it. That is a job for the cops.

You would much rather be alive and disappointed in yourself for running away than in the cemetery having been brave.

Don’t be a hero. If you have loved ones in the house that is a different dynamic and you must add them into your plans but solely for the lone female defending herself. Make sure it is your absolute last resort.

First, arm yourself. Ambush your adversary. Attack them from behind. Launch your attack with extreme levels of aggression and violence. You are fighting for your life so you must not hesitate.

This is not a movie so it will not be glorious and have a sound track.

This will affect you long after the fact and you may need to seek counseling, yet another reason why direct combat should be your last ditch effort. Your overall invasion plan is RUN, HIDE, and FIGHT. We will call it plan “B”.

Build a Safe-Room

What is a Safe-Room? A safe-room, also called a panic room, should be part of your invasion plan. It is section in your house that you have dedicated solely to safety in the event of a home invasion.

There are some safe rooms that are completely self-contained, have their own outside air intake and exhaust, have restroom facilities, food storage, sleeping quarters, and can keep you protected and locked down for as long as your food will last.

The purpose of the safe room is to be a place you can hide in and fight from in the even you were unable to flee. It should be large enough to put your family in. It should be easy to get to in a hurry.

There would be no point in making your basement your safe room when you will be asleep on the second floor.

When danger comes that will be an unknown adversary and two flights of stairs you will have to negotiate before you are in a place to begin to defend. I suggest retrofitting your closet in your bedroom as your safe-room.

If your bedroom has a bathroom attached that could function as well. The goal is to not make it easy for an enemy to get to you. Your bedroom has a door and so does your closet.

In the event they make it to your bedroom there is at least two obstacles they must get beyond. It would take little time, minimal construction skill, and next to no money to buy and install a door bar on your bedroom door.

Then in an emergency your bedroom door could be closed and the bar slammed into place in a matter of moments. If they want to get in then they will have to spend time ripping down the door. This will buy you time to get away, arm yourself, or plan your next move.

What should you put in your safe-room? First off you want some sort of firearm and spare ammunition. If you cannot have firearms then you are left with bladed weapons and blunt weapons.

Make sure they are large enough to do significant damage but short enough to be wielded indoors.

Aside from arms you will want a cellphone and charger. You may not have time to grab your personal phone. A land line can be cut.

You want a phone to be there when you need it and cellphones should be able to call for help even without network service. Keep that phone charged and keep the charger in the safe-room with the phone just in case you forget to charge it.

You will want some level of first aid equipment in there. Even if it is nothing more than alcohol and cotton balls, those are better than nothing.

Fighting is dangerous and dirty business and if it comes down to it you will get dents, cuts, and scratches at the very least. After those essentials you can add whatever you think you may need.

After designating a space and stocking equipment, it is a matter of training, practice, and planning. Every week take ten or fifteen minutes out to see how quickly you can get to your safe room and bar yourself in.

If you find yourself in a no run situation follow these steps.

First, arm yourself. If you fail to bar your door at least you have a fighting chance being armed should your intruder be at your bedroom door before you close it. Second, close and bar your door.

Put the phone on speaker so that both of your hands can be free and the person on the other end of the line can hear everything going on.

Dispatch operators usually record everything that happens on the line. Tell the dispatcher everything that has happened and is happening as it plays out. Keep calm, control your breathing, and try not to panic.

Arm Yourself

Now people tend to use fire arms and other weapons as security blankets. Having them makes them feel better and once bought or acquired then the work is done. They are safer just by being armed. This is false, an untruth, a fallacy. This idea is just an illusion.

The truth is your mind is your weapon and your tactics and strategy are your armor. Your guns, knives, and clubs are just the tools you use to get the job done.

woman holding a rifle in the middle of a country road
woman holding a rifle in the middle of a country road

So when I say arm yourself I mean prepare for war. If your tool is a rifle or pistol then you must train to shoot. If your tool is a club or a knife then you must learn how to swing them.

You must keep in mind that your battle ground is the inside of your own home. I say this because some weapons work better than others in that environment.

You may want to have the highest powered Barrett 50 caliber rifle you can find, but remember that you are responsible for every round you fire and if a stray shot travels over into the next county and hits some kid’s leg while he is sleeping in his bed, in the eyes of the law this is entirely your fault.

Wield the largest caliber you can handle. A big gun does you little good if you drop it or fall down every time you fire it.

Rifles are very powerful but those long barrels can be cumbersome if you need to run through doors and down hallways. Not to mention that rifle rounds can penetrate multiple walls and even go into a neighbor’s house.

Be careful and know where you are shooting.

A shotgun is a fine weapon for indoors and arguably the best. A single trigger pull sends multiple projectiles at your enemy increasing your chance to hit.

An added bonus to long guns, rifles and shotguns, is the can be used as melee weapons if a fight becomes hand-to-hand. Look up rifle fighting techniques. These moves are basic, easy to execute, and very effective.

Pistols are underpowered, yes, but what they lack in power they make up for in maneuverability and concealability.

Pistols can be tucked into a pocket rather quickly and will not be as cumbersome if you have to run. When you shoot aim for the center of the chest and nothing more.

You may have the urge to scare them away by firing a warning shot. Don’t do it. It only tells them that you have a weapon and gives away your location.

If you feel you need to shoot do it from cover and concealment, and make it a surprise. They should be down or dead before they realize they have been fired upon.

If you are wielding a blunt or edged melee weapon, then find someone that will teach you how to fight with it. You do not need to be a karate black belt with it or a samurai level blade master.

You only need to know how to grip the weapon, throw a few simple strikes, and know where to hit on the human body to do the maximum amount of damage.

After that you need to practice, practice, and some more practice. How much practice do you need? Remember this saying, “more sweat in the gym means less blood on the street”.

Take that with you and go with God. Heaven help you if you ever have to use any of this for anything other than training.

Protecting Yourself In the Street

Naturally the next logical place to learn to protect is in the street. I do not mean the literal street of course but the entirety of the chaotic world you have absolutely no control over.

I am talking about your apartment complex, parking garages, wooded areas and trails, elevators- anywhere you might go or be!

You can control everything that goes on in your home down to the temperature of the room you are in if you felt like it, but not out in the world.

Out in the open world the only thing you have control over is yourself, daytime or nighttime. So to better prepare yourself you must learn as much as you can about the potential danger and the potential safety aids.

You must learn operational risk management and the ability to recognize threats before they coalesce into a bad situation.

Again, just like with the home and car, many of the principles carry over into the street so do not abandon those when you move from one environment to another.

Strength Train (Get Muscles)

If you saw two men, one six foot five inches tall, maybe three hundred pounds, and one five foot eight inches tall and about one hundred and fifty pounds, which man would you pick to have to deal with in a physical fight?

Nine times out of ten you would more than likely choose the smaller guy because the larger one would potentially be stronger and can cause more damage.

The fact that the larger man is nonviolent, has been huge his whole life never having to fight, and does not know how to fight, and the smaller man boxed professionally for ten years and won all of his fights by knockout is completely irrelevant. You would have to know them in order to get that information.

On looks alone one man can have an edge and potentially win a fight long before it even begins. He is the lion in the corner. He looks like a predator. You want this to be you in a sense.

No, you are not going to be able to grow to six five and three hundred pounds of solid muscle. That’s not what I mean. But you can make someone second guess wanting to bother you.

How you ask? Read the title of this section again. Get strong and get some muscles. You must strength train.

First, unless you are a fitness fanatic and know every trick in the book to gaining the perfect physique then forget what you think you know about working out.

Nothing against the body builders and beach body pros but this is not for them.

This is for the working women, the stay at home moms, and the college student that has so much on her plate that she averages five hours of sleep a night. You no longer care about working off your love handles, losing ten or fifteen pounds, or any of that aesthetic bullshit.

I am sure you want to look good and that is fine but we are talking about survival and last time I checked real jackers don’t give a rat’s ass about how cute your ass looks in your favorite pair of yoga pants. I am talking raw strength to do work and functional muscles.

Aesthetics can come later. First you need to protect yourself. You need to lift weights and you need to life heavy weights. “But I just want to tone and I don’t want to bulk up like a man!” I am tired of hearing this. Stop thinking like that.

If you want to “tone”, then you have to actually have something to tone. Get some muscles. You cannot bulk up like a man. You are not a man. Men have an abundance of testosterone. You do not.

You want to look solid, yes. You want to look like you can do heavy work. You want to look like you can actually use your body.

More importantly you actually want to be able to use your body. You need to be able to travel by foot, maybe move and carry heavy objects, and fight if you have to. Look up a basic level general strength and conditioning program.

You can find tons of free ones online. It doesn’t really matter which one you pick as long as it meets a few different criteria.

You want a resistance strength training program that works the entire body. It must target the major muscle groups. You want it to have an element of cardiovascular endurance training though this is not the main focus.

Walking on the treadmill for an hour will not give you what you need if you ever have to hop a fence or lift a manhole cover.

You want the program to be realistic and help you establish attainable strength goals. What are those goals? I mentioned some of them before.

This is the strength you are trying to gain. Predators hunt for prey. They look for easy targets that will not put up much of a fight if any at all. They look for those that they can overpower with little to no effort.

Predators do not hunt other predators. They may fight with them if the time comes but they do not go looking for them.

There is an old saying that if two tigers meet on the mountain one will die and one will be scarred for life. Be the tiger.

Learn Close Combat Techniques

Now that you are on the road to having the strongest body you can get you are going to want to learn how to handle it.

You can deter quite a few potential opponents by being that tiger they do not want to mess with. You look like too much of a challenge so they will not even try.

Now you have to plan for those that are not deterred by your physical presence. They are going to try and test you.

So aside from having a body that can do a great deal of work you must learn to defend it from physical attack. This entire article is about personal protection and self-defense.

I have stated this more than once. Self-defense is ninety percent prevention, everything from being aware of what could happen and not putting yourself in situations to not looking like an easy target.

Now we shall discuss the other ten percent, what happens when your self-defense efforts fail, and a situation degrades into hand to hand fighting. You must know how to overcome these types of situations.

First recognize that you need a live instructor that will show you the ways of war and you will need someone to practice with. It would do you some good to enroll in a local martial arts program and just keep up with your training.

If you are going to do that you need to be made aware of one issue. Teaching and training is a business and most instructors set up their curriculums for the long road. They want to pass on their arts to those that will dedicate significant time and energy to the study.

That is okay if you have the time but understand that if you start today you may not be able to use what you have learned for at least a year.

There are too many parts and they are all high skill activities. This is the one issue when studying traditional martial arts styles.

Though is works out much better in the long run. Your body with be fine-tuned and capable of near superhuman abilities.

A shorter more immediate route is modern military combative or reality based martial arts. These styles focus mainly on situational training for specific attacks.

The strength in these is that they tend to gear everything towards self-defense and real street combat.

They are not as high precision as some traditional styles but the skills can be used in some capacity after a few classes. Where traditional styles focus on skill building reality based styles focus on defensive drills.

If you have the time and the energy you should do both. It can only help you develop. Now, there is the combat sport route, i.e. boxing, wrestling, kickboxing, and MMA.

You can get a lot out of these types of trainings but know that the focus in these is going to be more sport than life-or-death street combat.

You will also get used to being hit and be better able to handle being struck in a real altercation.

So shop around and visit different gyms and schools. Find something you like. If you like it you will be more inclined to keep up with it.

Anything you choose you will have to commit and be consistent with. No matter what you pick, the long road or the short cut, if I helps you to fight better then learn it.

Just remember what you overall goal was, personal protection, and let that be your guiding light. If your coach, teacher, instructor only focuses on academics or competition then you may want to move on to someone that will give you what you need.

There is nothing wrong with studying theory and philosophy, or testing your skill and will in competition, but you want to be better able to protect yourself above all else.

EDC Tools: Flashlight, Knife, Gun

We all have items that we carry with us every day. You will have your car keys, you cellphone, some form of money i.e. cash, debit, or credit cards.

Some of you may carry a purse and I will not go into the vast assortment of things that can be in there. I am sure it is different for ever woman.

To better protect yourself I suggest three items you should never be without. You should never be without your flashlight, your knife, or you gun.

Go everywhere with these and have them go everywhere with you. There are some items you can have and others you can do without but let these three be your bare essentials.

If you are in a place that does not allow you to carry a firearm then you must make due with whatever you have. Still carry your flashlight and your knife.

If it is possible substitute a firearm with mace or pepper spray. This is a poor substitute but you need a standoff weapon with a range that is beyond arm’s length. You want a projectile because distance buys you time.

Your flashlight is your first line of defense. It has a variety of uses. Invest in a powerful tactical flashlight with a pushbutton on-off switch at the base of the handle that can be depressed with your thumb.

Shy away from the models with the button on the side, or from the ones that you have to twist part of the shaft to activate the beam.

With the button on the side if you ever have to use the light as a weapon you will unintentionally blind yourself turning the beam back on yourself to strike your attacker with the butt.

Twisting a part of the shaft to activate the beam will require both hands and you don’t ever want both of your hands occupied when there is a chance you will need one for defense.

With the switch at the bottom you will be able to depress it with your thumb and hold it at the ready for a counter attack.

I say invest in a good flashlight because this item will have more use than any other. Illuminate dark corners as not to walk blindly into an ambush. If you are in a parking lot at night light in and around your car as you approach. Make sure everything is as it should be.

You would not want to get into your driver’s seat only to find that someone had broken your rear passenger window and gotten into the car. By the time you notice it will have been too late. Light it up and see.

flashlights with highlighted crenellations
flashlights with highlighted crenellations

Most tactical flashlights have serrations around the beam emitter. These can gouge into flesh if you ever have to use the light as a bludgeoning tool or as a glass breaker if you ever have to punch through a window.

Make sure you opt for a light with a strong beam. If approached by someone you are uncertain about you can shine the light into their eyes effectively blinding them and lighting up their faces for identification.

Keep it with you and keep fresh batteries in it and it will never fail you. You can even look online to find other ways to use your tactical flashlight. Be creative and see how many different uses you can find for it.

Next on the big three list is a knife. It is pretty clear what a knife does. It cuts stuff. What is not clear is all of the other things you can use it for. In skilled hands a good knife with worth a whole field kit of other tools. You can opt for a knife with multiple blades and tools or a single blade model.

The only thing you must have is a blade that locks. You want to be able to open the main blade with one hand. If it take two hands to close it that is fine but you should only need a single to deploy the main blade.

Aside from just being a sharp cutting and stabbing instrument your knife can act as a screwdriver, a small pry bar, and door jimmy. You can dig with a knife. You can hammer with a knife.

Walther PPQ
A Walther PPQ handgun

If you have the means, arm yourself with a firearm. This item only has one use for you and that is to shoot people that may harm you and nothing more. You will not be shooting locks off of doors and you will not be using it to hold someone at bay like you are a cop.

It really doesn’t matter what weapon, caliber, or model you get. Should you get a revolver or an automatic? I don’t care. It is entirely up to you and what you like.

Whatever you get you need to learn to use it and use it well. Learn the weapons pros and cons and learn to work with the pros and work around the cons.

After that it is just a matter of keeping it and your skills up to par. I implore you to train hard and practice often. You may have to stake your life on what you learn.

I know for some that a purse is an essential fashion accessory. This may be true but if you think for a moment that it will be ever so convenient to toss you flashlight, knife, gun, and every other piece of EDC equipment into it and build a little survival purse, you may want to rethink that.

You may have a utility purse that rivals Batman’s belt but what good is it going to do you if that item gets snatched from you?

You decide to wear that sexy sun dress you just bought and someone snags your purse and with it your cellphone, wallet, money, driver’s license, flashlight, knife, and gun.

In one swoop you have been totally disarmed and without the ability to call out for help or pay for a bus ticket.

God help you if you put your house and car keys in there as well. That poses a whole new dynamic.

Now you have a perp running around with the address to your house on your identification and a key to your house. It is a scary thought.

The saying goes “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” So take heed and don’t put all of your important stuff into one convenient little package waiting to be pilfered.

Get a knife that you can hang on a lanyard around your neck if you have to. Get a weapon holster that fits your ankle or you thigh.

Those will hide well with a dress depending on its length. If you are wearing pants with a belt then carrying your weapon, knife, and light will be easy enough.

Self-Aid / First Aid

Now we close with one of the most important skills that not only helps you to protect yourself but makes you an invaluable asset to those around you.

No personal protection training is complete without self-aid and first aid. Self-aid because you may fight off that aggressor but get stabbed in the process and bleed to death shortly after you get to safety. And first aid because you may be present and the bad things are not happening to you.

Would you know what to do if you walked up on one of your neighbors laying prostrate in his driveway? Could you stop them from slipping away long enough for help to arrive?

There are a few key things you can learn that will give you and those around you the best chance of survival should someone become injured.

Step one is make sure you are safe before you attempt any lifesaving interventions. There would be no point in wading in all gung-ho only to make yourself into the one that needs saving.

Use your eyes and ears, be aware and very conscious. If you come upon an injured person remember this “If he is awake sing him his ABC’s and if he is sleep then call him a CAB.”

These are of course acronyms for the vital systems to sustaining human life and the order you would asses them in should you encounter an injured person. “A” is for Airway meaning their ability to breathe.

Can they get air into their lings to oxygenate their blood and get blood to their brain? If they choked on something, drowned, or were strangled they all had their airways compromised and need to breathe.

“B” is for Breathing meaning the actual mechanical effort of their diaphragm drawing air in and out of their lungs. Are they breathing? Do you see their chest rising and falling or can you hear breath going in and out of their mouth and nose?

“C” is for Circulation meaning is their heart pumping and blood flowing to their brain and essential vital organs? Can you feel a pulse? Can you hear their heart beating? Do you see any blood running out of their bodies?

These are question you need to learn how to answer. I am not going to get into specific techniques for reasons of liability but you should take classes in first aid to learn what I am talking about.

You need to learn life saving techniques like CPR, the Heimlich maneuver, how to stop bleeding, and what an AED is and how to use it.

The Red Cross gives classes on first aid. CPR is offered as some local recreational centers especially those that have pools. You could volunteer at your local fire department and get real-world training and lifesaving experience.

Learning these skills will aid you in acting as your own first responder should you need to. Once you learn them you can teach them to your loved ones and can look after each other. Now go out and learn it.

And One for the Road

There is always more to learn. You can never stop learning or growing, and that is as a person and as one who wishes to stay safe.

Safety and personal protection are mindsets. You have to work to stay ahead of those that would aim to bring you harm.

There are whole libraries of books dedicated to this subject. These are just fifteen tips and tricks you can use to protect yourself.

If there were ten others writing this article each one could have a different list without there ever being any overlap. Take this list. Research these topics. Try and utilize these techniques.

Pass on the information to those that do not have it. The only way we are going to survive this is together. Now print this out, get out of your chair, and go become that tiger. Good luck!

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