“The most unprotected woman in America is the Black woman.” Malcolm X’s speech in 1962 that included this searing indictment of, not only, the country’s failure to create a safe space for Black women but also our community’s, over the past few years, has made its way back into the public’s consciousness. With our safety and humanity being in question from every angle, it is imperative that we know how to protect ourselves from dangers seen and unseen. And with the recent rise in Black women sharing stories about how they’ve been made to feel unsafe in their own homes by would be “suitors” who happen to be maintenance men or over friendly neighbors, it is time that we understand the must-haves for women who commute, work and/or live alone. 

Pepper Spray

Easy to carry and easy to find, pepper spray continues to be one of the things that many women find necessary to carry with them. Of course, the downside is that it can also affect your eyes if it’s sprayed too close to your own face or in the way of wind. So, it’s important to be mindful when spraying it; however, it is an effective way to disarm an attacker and make your way to safety. 

Taser

Unlike pepper spray, this is a surefire way to harm your attacker, and only your attacker, and ensure that there is enough time for you to get to safety. It takes only one push of a button to send electric shockwaves through the body of someone who invades your personal space in an unwanted way. 

A concealed carry weapon

Many states offer CCW classes for self-defense for women and you can find one in your area in order to obtain a license. Unfortunately, there is a very slim window of opportunity for most people to react in dangerous situations so, having a weapon that is easy to access and use can be the deciding factor on whether or not you are safe. Having a weapon in your home, properly concealed, can be a great way to ward off a person who has access to your home for something else but has abused their power. 

An Apple airtag

If you do not want to have your location turned on via your cell, an apple airtag for your purse or on your person can be a great way to alert family or friends of where you are should something go awry. You can even leave it in your car as an extra GPS to serve as a way to return to your vehicle, should you find yourself taken away from it and in desperate need of getting back to it in order to get to safety. 

Tactical Knife or Pen

Either of these can be used to stun an attacker who has gotten too close for comfort. Used correctly, they can cause serious damage and give you an opportunity to go get help before they have the chance to recover. The pen can be carried on planes without issue so they make a good companion for women who may be traveling alone. 

The key is to find something you find comfortable carrying and using so that if circumstances require you to spring into action you won't find yourself freezing in the moment. Assess your personal strength, where your comfort lies in wielding a weapon of any kind and to what degree you want to cause damage to another before making your final decision. Stay safe, sis!

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