Woman being followed

8 Self-Defense Practices All Women Should Know, According To Experts

Whether you live in a giant city or a rural town, keeping yourself safe from danger is a priority. Of course nobody wants to be in a situation where they have to face an attacker. But in order to be prepared, experts say you should learn more about the self-defense practices all women should know. These tips just might help keep you safe during a dangerous situation. At the very least, you might never look at the contents of your purse in quite the same way again.

Before diving in, please note that this info isn't presented to scare you or make you afraid to ever leave home. Statistically, this is time of relative safety. In the United States, the "violent crime rate fell 49 percent between 1993 and 2017" according to the Pew Research Center. That said, crime rates can vary strongly by location, and it's never a bad idea to be prepared to protect yourself. In fact, learning self defense techniques can empower you to feel safer during your day-to-day life.

Although nothing can take the place of an in-person self defense or martial arts training class, some of these basic tips can help you feel more prepared to face any situation. The self-defense practices everyone should know can help decrease your anxiety about the unknowns of the world, so you can focus on going about your own life.


Use The Elbow

William Thomas Cain/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Don't overlook this part of the arm. "Your elbow is the strongest point on your body — if you are close enough to use it, do!" as Pete Canavan, personal safety expert and host of the Safety Talk podcast, tells Romper.


Go For The Center Line

Many of the most vulnerable parts of the body are lined up right along the middle. "Attack the center-line of the body — eyes, nose, throat, solar plexus and groin," says Canavan.


Use Your Legs

Let the lengthier parts of your body do the work. "Your legs are longer than your arms... use them!" says Canavan. By kicking at one of the previously mentioned vulnerable parts of the body (such as the throat or groin), you can definitely stun an attacker.


Kick Low

You don't have to land a super-high kick in order to defend yourself. "A low front kick to the bottom of a kneecap can easily dislocate your attacker's knee, allowing you to escape since they won't be able to run after you," says Canavan. Kick and run away.


Use Makeshift Weapons

This is where a little imagination can save the day. Canavan suggests going through your purse to see what can be used as a weapon. Sunscreen or hand sanitizer can be squirted into eyes, and pens, pencils, and keys can all be used as makeshift weapons as well. If your bag is particularly large and heavy, then that itself is a potential weapon, too, as Canavan explains.


Make Noise

Get loud wherever you are. "If you begin to feel uncomfortable, make some noise! Either carry something on you or set off your car alarm. Loud noises often bring attention which can scare off would be assailants," according to the TASER blog.


Carry Defensive Gear

There are many inexpensive or free items that can be used as defensive gear. Compact umbrellas, personal safety alarms, bright flashlights, and pepper spray are all potential deterrents, according to Canavan. For more ideas, check out the Amazon products that will save your life from Bustle. Everything from a sweet self-defense pen to an *extremely* loud whistle are available.


Install Safety Apps

Ming Yeung/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Let technology work for you. "Your cell phone can be used as a personal safety device by installing an app that can activate the light, camera and mic and stream that information along with your location to pre-programmed contacts," says Canavan. Check out the many different personal safety apps for phones that are available now at Bustle. BSafe and OnWatch have the sort of features that Canavan recommends.

Whether you install an app or start carrying a personal alarm, there are so many simple ways to feel safer every day. Hopefully, these self defense tips will help you feel more empowered in your daily life.