Do you often find yourself walking home alone when it’s dark out? Alternatively, do you ever want to walk or explore a city at night — and also feel safe at the same time? Many women confront these dilemmas daily or weekly. Besides taking self-defense lessons or changing society from the ground up, there are easier (and more immediate!) ways to protect yourself when you’re feeling unsafe. Here are four useful items that can help in a pinch.
1. Tasers or Pepper Spray
Non-lethal, relatively inexpensive, and small enough for a handbag or pocket, these items are common for women of all ages to keep on their person. Small but mighty, tasers and pepper spray can impair an aggressor quickly.
2. Concealed Carry Holsters
Available in all shapes and sizes, concealed carry holsters for women are great for those with gun knowledge and, depending on the state, a concealed carry permit. As more women acquire guns, this is a useful option for those who want to keep theirs close by in case of a risky situation.
3. Keychain Alarms
Innocuous and handy, keychain alarms release loud, ringing noises when a button is pushed or a trigger is pulled. They might alert others nearby and some can even induce hearing impairments when left running too long.
4. Safety Apps
From Circle of 6 to BSafe, there are a variety of apps for both Apple and Android devices available to women suffering through bad dates, experiencing street harassment, or even walking through cities. More broadly, remember to use your phone as a tool for safety: program emergency contacts, enable specific GPS features, and check in with friends and family regularly.
While it’s a sad fact of life that many women have reasons to feel unsafe, there are steps women can take to mitigate some of their concerns. A little preparation and thoughtfulness can go a long way to preventing dangerous situations, and hopefully, nightly walks will soon no longer be an area of concern.