My mother forwarded me an email the other day with some safety tips. Usually these are full of pretty unhelpful ideas along the lines of "Use your keys to stab out your attacker's eyes!" "If someone is shooting at you, run in zig-zags! A moving target is harder to hit!" I take special umbrage with the "use your keys" scenario, because in my (very limited, admittedly) experience of trying to get away from an aggressive, drunk male, it didn't work so well. Because men are stronger than women.
This is a tough pill to swallow, admittedly. But it's true. We'll deal with that in a separate post.
But I strongly believe that the danger most women today will encounter does not involve knowing how to kick the taillights out from inside of a trunk (where you have been placed in order to kidnap you), or knowing how to outmaneuver bullets from a gun. It will come from being assaulted, perhaps by someone you know and trust. Another tough pill to swallow, another truth, and another thing to deal with in a separate post.
BUT BACK TO THE EMAIL from my mom. It had two pretty awesome tips:
1) Keep a can of wasp spray around, specifically around your workspace (if you have to do things like count money and are worried about being robbed but really don't want to buy a gun because the thought of shooting another person in the face isn't that appealing to you). Also put one in your home. When someone tries to rob you or attack you, spray it in their eyeballs. Most of these babies have a twenty-foot reach, so you won't have to get too close to the person.
This has the added benefit of not being too conspicuous--you might get some weird looks and asinine comments from your coworkers about a can of pepper spray or a crowbar, but wasp spray is pretty harmless looking. ALSO you can use it to kill wasps. Which is handy.
2) IF you have one of those fancy cars with a panic button on the car keys, keep your car keys by your bed! If you wake up one night and hear strange noises, reach over and hit the panic button. Your car (which I'm assuming is in your driveway and not parked down the street, like mine always seem to be) will go off like the Fourth of July, and should attract enough attention to scare the burglar away.
I would definitely test this option first before relying on it... I know the throw of those little remotes is pretty powerful, but you never know.
There were a few other tips in the email that I think we all have heard before (don't let newspapers accumulate in your driveway, don't announce your vacation on your Facebook page [BUT BETTER YET, SET ALL YOUR SETTINGS TO PRIVATE], etc), but I thought the wasp spray tip was especially effective. Though if you have wee ones, be mindful of leaving it around. Though if I had to choose between my child getting hit in the face with some wasp spray from the canister she was playing with, or getting hit in the face with a bullet from the gun she was playing with...
Let's just say I think I know which I would chose to have in my home.