One in three women has been subject to violence in their lifetime. Globally speaking this is an estimate of 736 million. This number is frightening and a scary statistic.
More and more women are taking it upon themselves to practice personal safety and self-defense. By taking these self-defense classes they open themselves up to becoming more aware of their surroundings. The use of pepper spray plays a big part in protecting the lives of many women.
Once you learn how to be alert in the event of an attacker, you lower the risk of danger and becoming an unfortunate statistic. To learn when to use pepper spray on an assailant, read our guide below.
Why Use Pepper Spray?
Why would you think of using pepper spray at all? If you are thinking these thoughts, you definitely should carry them on your person. The reasons vary from a general fear of assault to more specific scenarios such as an ex or a stalker.
When out in public, personal safety for you is of utmost importance. Whether you are working late or scared to walk to your car, you want to be alert to your surroundings.
Those who take a more casual approach to self-defense will carry a canister on them for about a week or two. Once the novelty wears off, the pepper spray will end up at the bottom of a purse, glove compartment, or dresser. Don't be this person, take on the full responsibility of pepper spray.
How to Use Pepper Spray
Before you start using pepper spray on your own, it's best to take a self-defense class.
When carrying pepper spray, you want something that is always accessible like a belt holster or coat pocket. Avoid using a purse or key chain. Choose a place where it will be carried in the same spot daily.
When walking in a dark parking lot or isolated area, always have a finger on the trigger. Time moves fast during an assault, so if the pepper spray isn't already in your hand it'll be that much harder to retrieve it.
Depending on whether the canister emits stream or mist, most will range in 3-10 feet. When you carry pepper spray, you become more aware of your surroundings. With that awareness, you will be alert for any risk of danger.
Take a step or two away and bend at the knees. Put both hands in front of your face and avoid extending your arms all the way. Be alert and hold down the trigger of the pepper spray.
With this method, you'll have one hand free if needed to shove or punch.
It is always best to avoid confrontation altogether by thinking ahead. Do things like relocate your car, have a buddy system, or change up your work schedule.
When to Use Pepper Spray
Pepper spray is only to be used for self-defense purposes if there is an attacker. You don't want to be so comfortable with it that you use it for the protection of property or against someone you don't like—which can lead to court cases and fines. Think defensively, not offensively.
When used properly, pepper pray buys you time in a high pressured situation. If you are being threatened by an attacker who can hurt you with their strength or weapon, pepper spray can be used to protect yourself.
Don't buy into the media and think that pepper spray will be a guarantee against stopping the assailant. An assailant can still punch, stab, or shoot you once sprayed. It is important to note that spraying someone who is intoxicated or drug-induced may not have the same effects.
When spraying you want to aim for the assailant's face at close range. Never spray in a crowded or congested area.
What does the pain feel like to the attacker? It is a lot like having pieces of steel in your eyes and a blow-torch on your face. Once sprayed, the attacker will often fall to their knees and rub their eyes which will make it even worse.
Once you spray the attacker, run to a safe place and call the cops immediately.
Do’s and Dont's
What are the do's and don't of using pepper spray for personal safety and self-defense? With these in mind, you will diminish your risk of danger in the long run.
Don't Leave in a Purse, Home, or Glove Box
Leaving your pepper spray in your purse or at home is one of the worst things you can do. What good will it be if it's at the bottom of your purse where you have to scramble trying to find it?
The reactionary time wouldn't be enough, leaving your spray ineffective. You will also want to be aware of leaving it in a glove box since it can overheat. This is dangerous since it will disperse and pepper your car's interior.
Don't Use Expired
Always check the date of the pepper spray in your possession. Most will last for up to the there years. When using an outdated or expired canister, there will be less pressure and the spray won't be as effective.
What good will it be if the spray barely comes out of the canister? Stock up on new canisters and check the expiration date pre-purchase.
Without practice, you run the risk of danger to yourself or those around you. You may end up spraying yourself in the face.
Learn how to hold your canister properly so you won't have to deal with ineffective bursts. Grab the canister in your hand and make a fist. You don't want to use your index finger when spraying either, but rather your thumb.
Do Carry at All Times
Make it a habit to always carry your pepper spray. Be alert and on the lookout in shady neighborhoods, parking garages, or college campuses.
You want to have an automatic response if needed. You want to have it regardless if you need it or not.
You will want to be aware of the laws surrounding pepper spray use. If you are irresponsible with it, you may face criminal or civil liability.
You can think of spraying an innocent victim the same way you would think of a punch. In most jurisdictions, this means being charged with assault or battery.
Be Alert at All Times
With so many women being victims of domestic and sexual violence, it only makes sense to be alert to every situation. When you focus on what you can do, you play an active part in your personal safety.
The good news is you are not alone and we are here to help. Start defending yourself today and pick up a GPS tracking pepper spray.