Before we begin discussing our top three self-defense weapons for women, we must first stress that these weapons should be used as a "last resort" for protection against an attacker. These weapons should only be used when the woman feels that her physical safety is being compromised and there is no other feasible way to survive other than by deploying these tools.
Also, we always suggest women practice being highly aware of their surroundings in order to avoid these dangerous situations altogether. Women can observe what is going on around them and make choices that can guide them around potential threats. For example, if a group of shady-looking men is standing in a dark alleyway at 2am - don't go chat them up. If possible, avoid these situations. It's simple. If a suspicious stranger unexpectedly comes knocking at the front door - don't open the door to find out who the person is. That being said, we do not want women to live in a state of fear - this is not what we are advocating at all. We want every woman to be able to recognize a threat and successfully respond to it in a way that ensures her physical safety.
Finally, legal issues. Every state has different laws regarding weapons that can be used for self defense. Concealed carry permits are also required for firearms and issued by most every state as well. Make sure to look up the particular state's laws before going out, buying, and implementing any of these items. A great resource to use for general information is: https://www.usconcealedcarry.com/resources/ccw_reciprocity_map/ Going to your state's ".gov" website is recommended as well.
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#1 | A Firearm
Our number one pick for a tangible self-defense tool is a concealable firearm. However, simply carrying a concealed firearm will NOT prevent someone from attacking because most attackers will never suspect the woman has a weapon on her in the first place. This means the woman must be cognizant of what is going on around her at all times and she needs to feel comfortable quickly handling the firearm. She needs to know how to draw the weapon from its concealed state, present it, and fire it. This all has to be done in a matter of seconds. A woman is immensely capable of protecting herself and others while carrying concealed.
Learning the process can be intimidating and often scary for the everyday woman because many have never handled a firearm before. And if she has shot before, weapon drawing from a concealed state isn't what is generally practiced. There are also many women who do not want to jump aboard the "concealed carry" train because it goes against their political beliefs. Some women would prefer to abstain from using a firearm in the hopes that everyone else will abstain as well. Even conservative women struggle with the idea of carrying a gun because the traditional belief is that the "man" is the protector of a family and it is his responsibility to save his family if things go awry. These mentalities have to go away at some point. No man or political belief will save a woman from a dangerous threat. Why? Because no one sees what she sees. For example, this woman could be positioned in such a way that she would be the only one able to notice odd behaviors of another diner at a restaurant or at a festival. She might be the only one who would have enough time to react and eliminate a threat before it can eliminate others.
Women Who Fight Back wants women to be able to protect themselves regardless of political beliefs and affiliations. Do not rely on what the world "should" be like and forget what it has become. The world has become increasingly dangerous for women. There is no attacker that is going pause to ask a woman what her stance is on guns before attacking. It is time for women to hop aboard and learn the skills necessary to protect themselves. This is why our number one go-to-weapon is the concealed firearm. It's the ultimate tangible self-defense weapon.
Now, there are people out there who make it out to be that the "drawing of a weapon" action is some sort of rocket science, but it is not. It takes practice to learn, as does anything new. There is certainly the right way and the wrong way drawing a weapon, but it is all learnable with proper guidance and practice.
Once a woman is properly trained - the firearm becomes the best and most powerful weapon for eliminating a threat. Firearms are known as equalizers and force multipliers if used swiftly and correctly. For example, let's say there an extremely strong man with a baseball bat about to physically attack a woman walking to her car. If the woman is aware of the danger she is in, she can confidently pull out a pistol and aim it right at him - there is a very high likelihood he will quickly run away, slowly back off, or freeze. It doesn't matter how strong he thinks he is. Strength is irrelevant in this situation.
If used correctly, the firearm allows there to be space in between the attacker and the victim. This allows the user to use verbal commands like, "get away!" or "stop!" before deciding to pull the trigger. In the case that a shot is fired, the firearm has a high stopping power, meaning a single shot can incapacitate an attacker. This is ideal when the user's life is being threatened. However, we obviously have our own preferences based on quality, reliability, price, size, and more. Our top three concealed carry firearm recommendations for women are the Glock G19, the Sig Sauer p365, and the Smith & Wesson’s M&P Shield.
#2 | Pepper Spray
The second choice is pepper spray. It is the classic self-defense weapon that consistently performs and can be carried practically anywhere. Pepper spray is also considered non-lethal weapon and thus usually easy to to acquire. Few states have regulations on its use as a self protection weapon.
There also is a similar "spraying" self-defense weapon called OC (Oleoresin Capsicum) spray. Both OC spray and pepper spray are chemical irritants that are used for self-defense. Both sprays contain capsaicinoids, which are the active ingredients that cause a burning sensation when they come into contact with skin or mucous membranes.
OC spray differs from pepper spray because it is made from a refined extract of pepper plants and is considered to be more potent and longer-lasting than pepper spray. Pepper spray is also made from pepper plants but the concentration of capsaicinoids is lower than OC spray. Both sprays can cause temporary blindness, difficulty breathing, and intense burning sensations when they come into contact with the eyes, nose, and mouth. OC spray is typically considered to be more effective in disabling an attacker.
Either spray is a great self-defense choice because it requires little to no training. It generally requires a simple turn and press motion and it is ready to go. There aren't many weapons that are as easy to deploy. Most pepper sprays and OC sprays have a range of about 8 to 12 feet which means there can be sufficient space maintained between the attacker and the user. This allows the user to avoid physically contacting the attacker and can provide provide a chance to escape.
We also chose self-defense pepper spray devices because of their small size. The pepper spray can is easily stored in purses, pockets, and even on keychains. This makes it a popular choice for many women. Do NOT purchase a pepper spray device that looks like a gun. If there is ever an encounter with the police, it might end badly for the user.
Our choice for the best pepper spray is the Sabre Red Compact.
Click below for more information:
Pepper Spray State Laws
#3 | Self-Defense Knife
The third weapon of choice for protecting oneself and others is a self-defense knife. Knives have long been used as a self-defense weapon for women, and for good reason. They are relatively inexpensive, easy to carry, and can be used in a variety of situations. Knives are scary. Some even believe people are more afraid of knives than firearms. We can imagine this to be true because more people have been cut with knives and the physical pain has made the association between knives and pain more severe. Also, knives do much more than shoot - they cut, skin, mutilate, stab, and more. Knives are uniquely intimidating in physical and mental ways. In most situations, the knife will give women a significant advantage in being able to protect themselves.
We do suggest that self-defense knives should be used as a backup to when the firearm is somehow not accessible, has no more ammo, or when someone is trying to steal the firearm and attempting to inflict harm. It is always better to have a knife and not need it as a backup than to have nothing at all.
Another reason women like self-defense knives so much is because they are generally easy to carry and conceal. There are folding knives, fixed blade knives, and keychain knives that can be easily slipped into a purse, a pocket, or holster. This is particularly beneficial for women because they may not want to carry a larger, more visible self-defense weapon.
Another benefit of using knives as a self defense weapon is that they are relatively easy to learn to use. Unlike firearms, which require extensive training and practice, knives can be used effectively with much less training. The effectiveness of a self-defense knife depends on its design, size, blade material, handle, and the training level of its user. Knives with a fixed blade tend to be more durable and reliable than folding knives, and knives with a pointed tip are better for thrusting or piercing attacks. The size of a knife can also affect its effectiveness for self defense. A larger knife can be used to strike or slash an attacker, while a smaller knife is better for thrusting or piercing attacks. It's important to choose a size that is comfortable and easy to carry.
The design of a knife's handle can affect its grip and control. A handle with a good grip will make it easier to hold and maneuver the knife during a self-defense situation. Also, a knife with a finger guard can prevent the user's fingers from sliding forward onto the blade, providing an extra level of protection.
That being said, the most important factor in the effectiveness of a knife is training and how comfortable the user is with the knife. It's essential to learn proper techniques on how to use a self-defense knife because it increases a woman's confidence if a dangerous situation ever did occur.
Knives can also be used as a tool in everyday life. Whether it's opening packages or preparing food, a knife can be a useful tool to have on hand. This added functionality can make knives a great option for women who want a self-defense weapon that also serves a practical purpose.
It's important to note that the use of knife as a self defense weapon must be used in accordance with state law and only in a situation where the person feels threatened and in danger.
This website is a great resource to find out current self-defense knife laws: https://handgunlaw.us/documents/USKnife.pdf
Our recommendation for a self defense knife would be the Spyderco Para Military 2.