Your handbag can keep you safe

ORDINARY WEAPONS

Your handbag can keep you safe

Reports of girls leaving offices early or choosing to come back home while daylight lasts, to avoid commuting late or alone, in the wake of the recent rape incident are beginning to surface. No incident in the past, has elicited this ‘scared’ response.

The fear factor is also contributing to soaring sales of pepper sprays and mirchi  powders, for women are taking to protecting themselves in the absence of near breakdown of official and administrative support. While keeping that spray or powder is great, other ordinary everyday items can be just as handy if you want to inflict injury.

This is especially beneficial for women who already carry a heavy bag, and do not want to increase its weight with more bottles. The idea is to learn to use the items already available in the handbag.

Even pens, mobile phones, notebooks, combs, dupattas, scarves and the bag itself can be potential weapons in the case of an attack. “The long handle of the bag or dupatta or scarf can be used to choke a person. These are usually handy and don’t have to be carried specially,” shares Rahul Bhasin, a trainer with  fitness consultancy, Endzone.

Combs, pens and car keys can be used effectively and buy enough time for escape. “A comb can be a very good weapon if its teeth are pushed against a face or skin and pulled down or up with pressure. Similarly, the tip of a pen or a hair pin can be thrust into the eyes, nose or throat of the person who shows unwanted advances.” Keys when scraped with pressure against skin or thrust into the attacker’s face can also cause substantial harm.

In case the stretch that you usually take is deserted and unsafe, then one “Must keep a coin tied in the dupatta which when swung with force, causes double the harm than a normal dupatta would,” shares Ashish Bhutani, a trainer at MIW Foundation. He insists that one must start shouting in such situations.

“When we start shouting, the other person loses his confidence to commit the crime. Also, if you feel that people are coming forward to abduct you, lie flat on the ground and start shouting, which will divide your body weight and also alarm others in the vicinity. Make use of the surroundings in that circumstance and use a stone or brick if available.”   

It is also a good idea to “fill or half-fill your water bottle before leaving home or office as it becomes heavy and if it is struck on the attacker’s head with substantial force, it can even make a person unconscious,” says Usha Kumari Joshi, SHO, Nanakpura.

The Delhi Police Cell for Crime Against Women stationed here provides self-defense classes in schools and colleges. Usha feels, “Every woman must carry a torch, scissor and lighter, for these are very effective. Self-defense classes should not be taken only by young girls but also by middle-aged women who should come forward to learn basics of self-defense.” Since self defense is the most timely and effective defense!

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