When reading about this, something else that really irked me was how others were commenting on the article. People who have no experience or understanding of violence or how it happens should not give "advice" on what to do to defend yourself.
In the ever-extending comment list, a consensus was made that carrying a can of spray paint and a whistle was a good idea for a woman to defend herself from a knife attack. The logic was that the bad guy will not only run away, but will be “marked” for the police to identify. Seriously? Other unknowing commenters affirmed that “making noise” using a whistle would make the attacker “less comfortable” in a rape scenario, so maybe he would flee. There were other terrible ideas, but it will make my brain hurt even more if I repeat them here. Rather than delving into how absurd these suggestions are, let’s look at them from a tactical standpoint:
If I decide: Yes, I’m going to carry a whistle and spray paint can with me while I run.
Here are a few things to ponder:
When the knife attack is in-action, will my whistle already be readied at my lips?
How will the whistle stop the attack that is already happening?
Will my spray paint can be in-hand, finger on the button, oriented at the eye-level of the attacker?
It will, during the duration of my entire run? Hmm…
Have I practiced spraying a person with spray paint at close range? Have I practiced at all?
Is it raining out?
Is the wind blowing?
What if it gets in my eyes instead?
Have I practiced using/accessing my tools so while someone is trying to attack me (under stress)?
Now, here’s the kicker… lets substitute the absurd suggestions for more-desirable tools. Maybe a knife, gun, pepper spray, or clubbing device. Similar questions apply.
Having a weapon/tool does not make you “safe” without training. You still need to know how to weather the ambush to get back into the fight and/or access what you are carrying. Everyone wants a quick-fix. Five minutes of browsing Amazon to purchase a self-defense weapon that will ease all of your worries. The real issue is training and education. Get an understanding of awareness, learn how violent attacks happen, and how you can respond to defend yourself and get out of danger. The way we train, using the S.P.E.A.R. System, can give you a VERY effective skill-set in a very short amount of time.