As young college women, we should all be aware of how to stay clear of danger, and if we have to, how to defend ourselves. Whether you go to school in a big city or a small town, there can always be threats to your safety and if you are aware of your surroundings and know basic defense, you can save your life. Recently, I took a self-defense class with my sorority sisters, taught by the police force at our school. It was actually a lot of fun, and I know I walked out of there having learned a lot. Today I’m going to give you a few tips about personal safety, but I suggest everyone take one of these classes to actually learn some basic self defense moves for yourself! 

Try to find one through your local police station, YMCA,  nearest martial arts facility, or through contacting your school.  Or take a RAD (Rape Aggression Defense) class

Avoid an Attack

♥ Try not to walk alone, especially around a big city or in a deserted area. Obviously, women who are alone at night are seen as an easier target than those in a group. 

♥ Try not to carry a lot of things with you. Take the things out of your purse that you don’t need and leave them at home. I usually try to bring a small cross-body bag if I’m going to be walking around the city. 

Cross-body mini hobo, $38

♥ Walk with confidence and always look up. Even if you don’t know where you’re going, walk like you know what’s going on and where you are. 

♥ If you see a suspicious person that feels threatening, always look them in the eye and be observant about what they look like or might be wearing. That way, they know that you would be able to identify them later. 

♥ If you think someone might be following you, cross the street or change directions in a way that it wouldn’t normally make sense to walk. If you are driving, do a series of turns until you’ve made a circle, but do not go home, because then if someone follows you they will know where you live. 

♥ If you live alone, put only your initials on your mailbox or put two names so that a stranger doesn’t know you’re the only one home, or that you’re a woman living alone. 

If Someone Does Attack

 ♥ Mace is illegal to carry in some areas. Instead, carry a small can of hairspray with you, it will have the same effect when sprayed into someone’s eyes.

♥ My friend has this really interesting cat key chain that can be used a weapon. You just put your fingers through the eyes and stab someone with the pointy ears. And you can hold your keys on it. 


Wild Cat Keychain, $5 for a set of 2 

♥ If you are grabbed from behind, you can use your head as a weapon and hit your attacker in the face or throat.

♥ The neck, eyes, and knees are very vulnerable spots to hit if you get a chance. Remember, it only takes one hit to distract an attacker so you will be able to run away. 


What Do You Think?

If you want to learn more about how to react in more specific situations, I found a lot of great stories and interesting facts here. Has anyone ever had to defend themselves against an attacker? What are some ways you stay safe at school or at home?

Author: Marissa


  1. MsKittyLover says:

    I feel that this is a really good article as the first sentence makes a point about AVOIDING dangerous situations. I feel that too many young women still seem to have an attitude of “it won’t happen to me”. I’ve told many of my friends to read this article.

    I was given self defense lessons at school by a woman trained in Krav Maga. I was taught that one of the most effective self defense techniques a woman can use is called the “groin grab” (also called the “grab, twist and pull” technique) She also referred to it as “The NO-FAIL self defense technique for women and girls”.

    I still remember her words “Grabbing, twisting, and pulling on the testicles is probably the best unarmed self defense technique that any women can use against any man – as long as you manage to lock your fingers around the top of at least one testicle before squeezing and pulling on them, which is easiest to do when the testicles are exposed”. I was also told that it usually causes the attacker to freeze before losing consciousness in under 8 seconds (don’t let go!), and in recent years many women have found the technique extremely effective in defending themselves. It definitely sounds like a technique which all women should be made aware of to keep in the back of their minds.

  2. stacy says:

    LOL at the key chain. haha i love that. gotta get one of those.

  3. TrillaTrillBria says:

    i will carry hairspray with me

  4. K.V. says:

    Good article. But I agree with Alex. These are some other basics self defense tips that I’ve picked up being in self defense class myself that require little to no force at all:

    When attacked from in front of you, take your palm and thrust upward towards their nose. This will, REPEAT WILL, break it.

    When you’re being grabbed, turn your thumb towards theirs and pull as hard as you can. This, in most cases, will force them to let go. Giving you an opening to back hand them and run.

    This is the MOST LETHAL! ONLY DO THIS AS A LAST, ABSOLUTE LAST RESORT!!!!! Make a fist and punch their neck. This punch doesn’t need you to be a UFC fighter to make a difference. It takes LESS than 5-8 lbs. to break an air way, more specifically a windpipe. This WILL CAUSE SERIOUS DAMAGE! NEVER DO THIS UNLESS UNDER ATTACK!!!!

    But important of all, trust your instincts and, if you can, avoid being attacked by using common sense.

  5. maggiecz says:

    i loved the hairspray idea ! and that cat keychain thing was cool. thanks for the tips!

  6. Alex says:

    I’m doing a project on self-defense and although your tips are great, about confidence and stuff, a lot of things are wrong. For instance attackers expect the keys or the kick the groin move. Also always strike in threes, especially with the knees (they can be pretty tough also). Attacking should always be last thing you do. Don’t forget (you didn’t) avoidance, avoiding the second crime scene, the WILL TO SURVIVE (Knowing you WILL), breathing and of course the escape. Here is a link to an article providing more details! Above all, TAKE A SELF-Defense class and prepare yourself by not walking all alone at night and following your intuition!

  7. Jannet says:

    These are cool key chains for self defense. Pepper spray is also one of the best self protection device for women these days. Thanks for the tips too. More power!

  8. Marissa says:

    My school also has a safe ride with the campus police. They will come pick you up anywhere within a mile, since we’re right in the middle of the city. But they don’t want people to abuse it if they’re lazy or its raining so they will sometimes just come to walk you home!

  9. Kaleigh says:

    My school has the same program, Jennifer, do you think it’s a Canadian thing?

  10. Jennifer says:

    My school has a foot patrol program, where you can call and have two volunteers pick you up from any area around campus (I think it’s within about 45 minutes walk is the rule) and they’ll walk you to another location within 45 minutes of the campus. It works out great because my campus is right downtown, so you pretty much never need to walk anywhere alone if you don’t want to.

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