We are living in a time of contradictions. Never before, in a few centuries at least, Indian women have felt as empowered as in present day and yet, crimes against women are touching an "appalling level", to quote the Economic Survey of India. Clearly our education system fails to prepare women (and men too) for surviving real life threats. Self-defense is much more than a set of lethal moves. It is an awareness of how everything around us can be used to defend ourselves, only if we stay calm & use our presence of mind.
You must have heard about the 'fight & flight' response. Our this ability to respond to life-threatening situations is the key to our survival. Some people respond by looking for an escape route while others take a threat head-on. There is, however, a third response, where those under attack report to have been momentarily paralyzed when faced with a dangerous situation --say kidnapping, assault or rape.
“Everyday items women carry could double up as weapons of self-defense. The key is to keep your calm under threat.
Instead of panicking, use whatever is at your disposal to defend yourself. Here we share 5 daily use items women carry and can double up as self-defense weapons:
1. Pen: ‘A pen is mightier than the sword’ and not just on paper. You can use a pen to poke the attacker’s eyes, nose or throat (the dimple below his adam’s apple). All three being vulnerable spots, this simple move can cause serious damage to the attacker.
2. Bag: Most women carry big bags and these are not just fashion accessories. When you notice an attacker heading towards you slam the bag hard in his face, aiming for his nose or chin (vulnerable spots) or if he is taller than you aim for his heart (left side of the chest). Repeat this action 2-3 times to inflict damage and buy time to run away from the scene.
3. Deo Spray: So a pepper spray is what you wish you had but if caught unprepared, spray a generous amount of your deodorant in the attacker’s eyes. It will blind him temporarily and give you enough time to escape.
4. Killer Heels: They are not called ‘killer’ for no reason. Aim for the attackers knee cap and kick him real hard with your pointy heels. You will have him down on his knees while you get time to flee from the threatening situation.
5. Mobile Phone: Apart from arming you with lifesaving apps, your mobile phone can also double up as a weapon of self defense. In case of an assault, hit your attacker on his head or his ear hard enough and you could have him counting stars.
(SLAP is dedicated to educating women on personal safety. These tips are intended to help women buy time and escape an attack but as every situation is different the response will also vary from case to case. These moves help but do not guarantee an escape. We expect readers to use discretion and utilize this information only for the purpose of self defense and never to harm anyone otherwise.)
(Mriganka Dadwal is a former-Journalist, Activist & Founder of SLAP. She and her team has helped train more than 10,000 women on personal safety & self-defense under real-life threats)