Self Defense Tools in a Woman’s Purse

By on May 19, 2017

It’s not a great photo. (Backlit from the only bright window in a dark Irish pub). Still, it conveys a story of one woman’s 6 self-defense tools.

In pursuit of shade and a pint after intensive gardening, I went to the local pub to watch a Pirates baseball game.  When I looked around after a while, the place was fairly empty. Even the woman who had been sitting to my left was no longer there, but her gear on the bar held her place while visiting the ladies room. I never saw her, but I liked her. She has a taste for Guinness; carries pepper spray; and has a level of trust (in a nice place).

EDC or Every Day Carry

Her everyday gear included: a cell phone, cigarettes, a lighter, car keys, and pepper spray. Because she carried pepper spray, I wondered if she knew that her 4 other items could be used as improvised weapons and an alarm. Most of us carry the same tools. When you open your purse or dive into your pockets, with imagination and a defensive mindset, you may find a small arsenal at your fingertips–enough to make you a lot of trouble to a bad guy. Often times, that’s all it takes.

Caution: Reality Sandwiches below. My gut still clenches a tad when I’m shown these tools and strategies. My mentors, all professionals, each tested by real life, are good men who want to help good people walk or run away from bad guys who thought they could easily get what they wanted.


Above, 1 pepper spray and 5 other potential self-defense tools.

Let’s look at her defense tools, and I’ll explain how they can be used.

6 Self Defense Tools Masquerading as Everyday Gear:

1. Cell phone. The corner of a cell phone–use it as a striking weapon. Grip it tightly so you can strike with one corner. If you’re shorter than the bad guy (BG) go for upwards targets. Slam it into nostrils, teeth, ear–whatever’s open. If you’re tall, strike in the center of the skull, or other sensitive areas.

There are no second chances in self defense. Do it like you mean it.

2. Cigarette lighter. The metal end of a lighter–if that’s all you have–could be thrust into the BG’s eyes or wind pipe below his Adam’s Apple. Go deep.

3. Pepper Spray. It’s an excellent defense tool that can work up close or some (like Fox Pepper Spray which I recommend) go out to 20-30 feet. But, there’s a problem in the picture above, the pepper spray canister is attached to a bulky key chain. If she deploys the spray, the keys would dangle and sway and could affect her accuracy; the dangling keys could be grabbed if she misses. She has to think about this stuff. She has to practice. Does she know how far the spray will go? If it’s old, it may not even extend 5 feet! (Check the expiration date!) She needs to know when and where to use pepper spray. Don’t be downwind of it outside, and, it’s not a good idea to use indoors in small rooms, especially the fog type–it might get on you, or in your lungs.

4. Keys. Car or house keys protruding from between her fingers (near the knuckles) and clutched hard, is a smart way to walk to her car. If attacked, scratch deeply, forcefully and draw blood. Blood in the BG’s eye will slow him down. Find openings and go for them. Press your car’s alarm button when you can. Yell “Fire”, many people recognize that as code for Help.

5. Remote Car Fob w/ Alarm. Hit your car’s alarm / panic button. Sounding your car’s alarm can dissuade a BG to drop what they were doing (or about to do). It draws attention, something they don’t want. (Use it at home to deter a BG outside).

6. Not shown, but obvious due to receipts: Credit Card. Look at your card from the side. It’s a slicing tool if applied to blood vessels backed by bone: forehead, cheek and and above the eyebrows is best place to nick or cut blood vessels, leaving blood to drip in their eye. Bad guys hate blood in their eye, they can’t see. (Sounds gruesome, but could save your life).

How to Emerge Intact
  • Be a lot of trouble.
  • Look for openings.
  • Use all your might. Might comes from the force of your full body. Your strike starts as you push up from your legs, the energy travels up through your torso, out your shoulder, down your biceps, forearm, and transfers into your hand. Learn to leverage your body weight, mass, and strength–no matter your size.
  • Follow through.
  • Drive each strike deep into the target.
  • Grunt. Yell.
  • At a minimum, the bad guy will be surprised and confused; he may be hurt and bleeding.
  • Get away as soon as you can.

The best defense is to avoid bad situations. Remove yourself as soon as your gut instinct senses trouble.

If you’d like to receive a copy of Calamity May’s 5 Myths You Need to Rethink, please enter your email to the right.

may all your calamities be averted !

Disclaimer: The materials within this blog, CalamityMay.com represent the findings of the author. Calamity May, LLC or Suzy Meyer, are not responsible, nor are they to be held accountable, or liable for anyone’s interpretations, personal experiences, or outcomes.



Suzy Meyer, Author
Pittsburgh, PA

I'm a landscape architect, gardener, and of late, a certified NRA instructor. I enjoy practicing T’ai Chi, playing bocce, and walking through watersheds.. This blog is my journey full of learning curves to calm the chaos.


Receive a FREE PDF of the 5 Myths!

* indicates required