April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. According to the most recently available data, one in five women and one in 16 men will be a victim of completed or attempted sexual assault while in college (source). Awareness is the first layer of protection in your self-defense plan. These non-lethal weapons add another layer of protection.
Pepper Sprays and Gels
Due to most colleges banning guns and knives on campus, pepper spray has become a very popular method of non-lethal self-defense. 34 states have no form of an age restriction on buying and carrying pepper sprays, so it’s readily available to students. Be sure to research state laws before purchasing.
There are many different configurations of carrying pepper spray, but we’ve found that the most popular and convenient are the keychain variety. Sabre’s keychain pepper sprays and gels are easily detachable, so you don’t have to waste precious seconds trying to get your canister off your purse or keys. The detachable key ring also comes in handy if your attacker is somehow able to get a hold of the canister and try to use it against you.
Sabre’s pepper sprays and gels have a 10-foot average spray range, so your attacker won’t have a chance to get their hands on you. Capsaicin (the active component in chili peppers) burns the attacker’s eyes, causing them to swell shut. UV dye takes 2 weeks to wash off, and is only detectable under black light, marking your attacker for later investigation.
Spray, and don’t stay. Get away from your attacker while they’re incapacitated and call 911 once you’re safe.
Sometimes, a loud noise is all you need. If you’re not comfortable with carrying any type of weapon, a personal alarm is a great alternative to pepper spray. Sabre’s Personal Alarms can be heard from 600 feet away, so you’ll be sure to draw urgent attention to the situation.
A Really Bright Flashlight
Not many people think of a flashlight when planning their self-defense, but a flash of at least 50-60 lumens in the dark can blind an attacker.
Our favorite is the JAG LED Tactical Flashlight by Nebo Tools. Designed for concealed self-defense, the JAG has a staggering 210 lumens and a hidden bezel edge. Aim the JAG at your attacker’s eyes, dazzle them with light, and then smack the bezel edge into an eye socket while they’re still seeing spots. After that, get out of dodge and call 911 once you’re safe.
As with the pepper sprays and gels, be careful and disable the attacker before they can disable you and use your own weapon against you. Awareness is key.