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3 Self-Defence Items To Keep In Your Bag For Safety

Violence against women is not a new concept, but one that has been around for years and shows no signs of stopping. Between 1996-2022, 244 women have died violently in Ireland. As well as this, 30,841 disclosures of abuse against women were reported to Women’s Aid in 2020 alone. These heart-wrenching and disgusting figures show that this issue is prevalent now more than ever.  This topic has recently been addressed in the media due to the tragic and brutal death of twenty-three-year-old Irish girl, Ashling Murphy. I’m sure by now we have all heard about this vicious attack in Tullamore, but when is change actually going to happen? 

At first, women were told not to go out at night, then to not wear certain clothes… well this attack against Ashling was at 4 pm in broad daylight, whilst she was only out for a jog! Until this behaviour changes, women should be allowed and encouraged to carry items to protect themselves. This article will give three items that can be used to help protect yourself against an attacker.

It is also important to note that pepper spray and tasers are illegal in Ireland, according to Justice.ie. Instead, here are three legal alternatives to protect yourself if needed. 

  1. Criminal Identifier Spray

Criminal Identifier Spray or Farb-Gel is a legal spray that stains an attacker’s face and clothes for up to seven days. The spray is safe for eyes so will not cause harm to the individual but it will make an attacker identifiable for seven days after an incident has occurred. The aim of this spray is not to protect but ensure the attacker is found after the event by leaving a distinct mark across his face and/or body.

This spray is available in many locations but I have included a link an amazon link below and it ships to Ireland.

  1. Siren Alarm

The second item which could be used to draw attention during a possible attack is a siren alarm. A loud siren alarm will notify other people nearby and encourage people to investigate the situation. These alarms are often available in keychain form and can be attached to your keys for easy access.

  1. A strong body spray or perfume

The final item may seem like a strange one but perfumes and body sprays are known to cause extreme discomfort and often blurred vision when sprayed directly into an individual’s eyes. Now, we know mace/pepper spray is illegal in Ireland and the United Kingdom, but carrying a small bottle of body spray or perfume is completely legal and could be the necessary weapon if needed. It is crucial to note that every spray will have different effects but most of them will cause irritation when sprayed directly into the eyes. 

All of the methods outlined above can be extremely dangerous and should only be used when needed, however, with the growing attacks on women it is no harm to have some of these in your bag just in case. 

Finally, women should not need weapons to protect themselves but unfortunately due to the current state of the world, we do and knowing what we can legally have is the aim of this piece. 

DCU PR and Strategic Communications masters student and contributor to Her Campus. Lover of coffee and hater of long commutes.
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