These tips are not a replacement for professional self-defense courses or help from the authorities, but they could definitely help you out of a jam.
1. Get out of a zip tie.
Zip ties are one of the most common restraint tools used by kidnappers, since they’re much cheaper than handcuffs. Using just your own body and some determination, you can force your way out of them.
2. Stop someone from targeting you in an elevator by stopping at every floor.
Let’s say you’re entering your apartment building or leaving the office late at night and an unfamiliar person follows you onto the elevator. Press all of the floor buttons. No one will dare to attack you if the door is opening constantly.
Use this tip sparingly and trust your gut. Best case scenario: You’ve avoided an attack. Worst case scenario: You’re now the building’s Buddy The Elf. But, whatever, you’re alive and unscathed.
3. If someone tries to to rob or attack you in your home, head for the kitchen.
(Obviously, if you have access to a phone, dial 911 first.)
Only you, the person who lives there, knows where you keep the knives, breakable plates, and spices that could potentially be turned into harmful weapons. If all else fails, just start screaming and throwing utensils and pans to create noise to alert neighbors.
4. Invest in a self-defense statement ring.
Not only are these rings by Etsy seller Anja Guggenheum beautiful, but they double as weapon when you’re provoked. Kind of like a more discreet version of brass knuckles.
5. If someone tries to attack you on the street, do not stand still.
Even if you’re not an athlete or trained in self-defense, you have the capabilities to fight someone off. Inexperienced fighters are prone to standing still, so remember to utilize all available body parts, like your knees, elbows, and legs.
6. Download a few safety apps for your phone.
If you’re running solo or traveling late at night, Stay Safe lets you enter your expected travel time and route and, if you don’t check back in with the app in time, automatically alerts a set list of emergency contacts.
My Panic Alarm turns your iPhone into a loud, flashing alarm with just the touch of one icon.
7. Memorize some basic pressure points.
This way you can protect yourself without overexerting.
Try to stay as calm as possible and pay attention to position of the attacker to determine the best place to strike if they provoke you. For instance, do not step in closer to hit their nose with your hand if you’re in the right spot to reach their knee with a kick.
8. Know the right way to use Mace.
Do you have a can of pepper spray lying in the bottom of your bag, but actually have no idea what to do with it in an emergency? Here are some tips on how to effectively use it without harming yourself.
Find out whether pepper spray is legal in your area here.
9. Store your valuables in a maxi pad wrapper.
The foolproof anti-theft device because feminine hygiene is DISGUSTING. AHAHAH AMIRITE, THIEVES???
10. Know how to get out of a wrist hold.
If someone grabs you by the wrist, pull your arm toward where their thumb and fingers meet (the weakest point of their grip).
11. Let your hair down.
Unfortunately, ponytails and braids can make an easy route for someone to grab you from behind. If you’re able, put your hair down until you arrive at your destination.