We all want to be safe and secure, but what's the right self-defense product for you? What will make you more comfortable?
If you want something compact, affordable and even stylish, here are three hot new products are small enough to fit in your pocket or purse but still pack a punch (and volume). They will make you feel protected when you are walking home alone or jogging at night down Bayshore Boulevard.
Sound Grenade: Retailing online for about $15, this 120-decibel noise alarm is louder than a Bon Jovi concert -- but only the size of a pack of gum or a thumb drive. It can hang on a backpack loop or purse. It's a deterrent, not a weapon, scaring off would-be assailants (or growly dogs) but also drawing the attention of anyone nearby. All you do is pull the pin for a blaring siren effect -- then reconnect the pin to turn it off. Very easy to use and really loud.
Kitty Knuckles: Looks cute, packs a pointy wallop. Other animals (and a host of cool colors) are available for this steely metallic keychain. The sharp ears are meant for gouging, as your fingers slide into the eyeholes to grip and punch. At first glance, the feline looks downright adorable; at second glance, mee-ouch! Available several places online for around $8.
Hot Pink Lipstick Mace: You can still buy the chunky black traditional mace can -- nothing wrong a classic -- but the Hot Pink Lipstick Mace is smaller and sleeker, with a cool colorful design. Although it's small, it still shoots a powerful pepper jet up to 5 feet away. Comes with a keychain loop. I bought mine at Dick's Sporting Goods, but it's available at other stores and online for around $15.
If you want to learn more about self-defense, or at least be better-trained with those Kitty Knuckles, the University of South Florida offers an inexpensive self-defense course for women.
For more information on the USF program visit www.usf.edu/administrative-services/university-police/avoid-crime/self-defense.aspx.