A Different Defense: How To Protect Yourself Without Using A Gun - WSPA.com

A Different Defense: How To Protect Yourself Without Using A Gun

By Emily Pace

You never know when and where you could be a victim.

"I was just telling him: please don't do it, please don't do it, please don't do it," recalls Qieante Harris.

Harris is a victim of sexual assault.

“The crazy thing is there were people around and no one did anything to help me."

It's a day Qieante will never forget, but if there is ever a time where she is in a similar situation, she won't react the same way.

Harris recently completed the Rape Aggression Defense program at USC Upstate.

“Its common moves you would normally do that you may not think to use,” said RAD coordinator and USC Police Officer Lisa Hyder.

RAD is not martial arts.  The program is based on various self-defense tactics and techniques.  Training involves a 10 hour course and costs $25.

If don't want to rely only on your physical strength, there are several devices you can use.

Pepper spray or mace is the most common non-lethal weapons.  If used correctly, both will cause painful burning sensations to the eyes, nose and throat when sprayed.

David Blanton¸ a retired deputy from Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office says while aerosol-type devices seem easy to use, it's important to remember to stand close to the attacker when spraying it and don't activate either product if it's windy.

“If the wind is blowing towards your face, you got a problem,” said Blanton.

Pepper spray and mace come in various containers, and some are even disguised to look like tube of lipstick or a pen.  Blanton says either one will cost you less than $20.

Tasers and stun guns are also effective.  These items use high voltage to temporarily disable an attacker.

“It will change their mind about trying to hurt you, because they are now feeling a lot of discomfort and pain," said Blanton.

Blanton advises if you want to buy either a Tazer or stun gun, make sure you learn how it works.

He says Tasers are not cheap and start at $275.  The one-time use cartridges will also cost you about $50 a piece.

Stun guns range in price from $30 to $75.

John Wyndham, a martial arts instructor in Spartanburg recommends women to invest in a kubotan.  The five-inch metal tube costs around $10 and attaches to your keys.

When held securely in your hand, kubotans become a powerful tool that significantly increases the damage of any strikes made against vulnerable body parts, like the eyes.

“You have to know certain auxiliary techniques that are unarmed,” said Wyndham.

The kubotan does require some instruction.

Some experts believe weapons are not necessary.  If you take a look around, you’re surrounded by objects that can save your life if used properly.

“If you have a long stick, you will want to keep your distance, because it won't be effective close up" said self-defense instructor Deanna Enis.

Enis created her own self-defense curriculum, which teaches women to use whatever is around... as a way to stop an attacker.

"Say in a really quick, low verbal command 'back off.’  The tone of your voice is so incredibly powerful,” said Enis.

If that doesn't work, Enis says not to run, instead take the person down and out.

She says the most effective place to hit someone is in the face.

Enis suggests smashing the hardest part of an object into the temple, on the brow or cheek, wherever there is skin on bone.

While Enis' moves sound easy to remember, she says you still need to practice by thinking of various scenarios in your head and how you would respond.

“Hopefully, it doesn't happen, but if it does, I am ready for it,” adds Harris.

Harris is confident in her abilities, now armed with knowledge.

According to experts, it's important to remember that no weapon will work if you don't have it with you at all times.

You should also be prepared that your gun, non-lethal device or self-defense technique may not work in certain situations, so make sure you have another option.


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