OPINION | Essential self-defense tools for your protection

Pictured is a graphic of many different personal defense tools you can carry. It’s encouraged to carry these items to be safe rather than sorry, especially in the world we live in today. Cora Mark | Sun News Daily

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There has been an increase of sexual assault and violence cases on college campuses leaving students feeling fearful and panicked.

Within the past week, Utah Tech University had a police report sent out about a sexual assault case that happened on campus.

According to RAINN.org, one of the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organizations, an estimated 13% of all graduate and undergraduate students experience a form of sexual assault. 

While it’s certainly not the only type of violence that happens to students on campuses, it is one that is not reported as often.

Anyone can be a victim of violence or sexual assault, but more often than not, it’s women taking the brunt of these attacks. Walking alone at night, sitting in your car in the parking lot or even walking to your next class can lead to unfavorable circumstances. 

Having common sense and awareness of your surroundings is a great place to start to protect yourself. Think of it as being aware of them before they become aware of you. Having an extra hand can really help your chances of getting away if something were to happen.

I always carry a pocket knife and pepper spray on me just in case. You never know who or what could be following you.

That’s why it’s important to take advantage of the wide assortment of self-defense tools and resources available to provide extra protection and preparedness. If it’s there, take advantage of it

Here are a few self-defense weapons you should consider getting to keep yourself safe.

Pepper spray

As simple as it may sound, pepper spray is a surprisingly versatile self-defense tool. While it doesn’t provide any long-lasting effects on the perpetrator, it gives just enough time to run to a safe area and find help. 

When not in use, pepper spray can also serve as a deterrent to someone looking for their next victim if they happen to see it on a keychain or backpack.

There are several places to buy pepper spray, including online and in-person options. You can get plenty of great deals at Amazon and Target

Fortunately, I’ve never been in a situation that needed pepper spray. Looking at it from a practical standpoint, it’s a great weapon. It keeps you at a distance from your attacker, which provides you with enough time to run away and call for help. It’s fairly simple to use, and it also leaves the attacker relatively unharmed in case law enforcement takes that into consideration.


While pepper spray acts as a great deterrent, kubatons act as a defense tool that works well with someone’s natural instincts. Typically made out of metal, kubatons form naturally to the curve of fingers when the hand is made into a fist, making it an excellent self-defense tool that utilizes the fist and edge of the hand.

Instead of keeping your attacker at a distance, the kubaton is a close-proximity weapon and requires you to be relatively close to your target to use it effectively. It is not sharp but is a great choice if you can get it close to the eyes or ears of your attacker. They are easy to carry and conceal, so you won’t catch yourself being the unsuspecting victim of a crime.

These can serve as a deterrent for someone looking for an easy target. Even someone who isn’t professionally trained in self-defense can still use it to gain the upper hand. You can get this tactical pen kubaton from Amazon, and here’s a guide for how to effectively use one.

Pocket knife

Serving both practical and tactical use, pocket knives are probably the most multi-faceted self-defense weapon there is. Outside of self-defense, pocket knives can be useful in many different situations like lighting a fire or cutting shoelaces.

While knives of any form can be potentially dangerous to both the attacker and victim, having a pocket knife on you is never a bad idea; I never leave home without mine. It can both be used as a deterrent from a potential threat and also make you feel more confident knowing you have more than just your fists to protect you.

Self-defense keychains

There are several keychain-specific self-defense options that are both cute and functional. The one that comes to mind is the cat-shaped keychains that have finger holds and pointed cat ears to make an easy weapon to defend yourself.

However, these keychains can prove to be quite bulky and don’t seem like something I would immediately go to when I needed it. But, you can find these self-defense keychains at local stores, on Amazon or other online retail sites.

All these tools serve a purpose and help women feel more confident walking around by themselves. You can never go wrong with extra protection. A good weapon plus a good sense of self-protection and common sense can really make a difference.