Member Articles

Write an article!

Watch Out For Women With Purses

Your purse doubles as a weapon

by Laurie Ayers  |  2519 views  |  2 comments  |        Rate this now! 

Many of us have seen the emails that warn women not to park near a van; that your elbow is the strongest part of your body; that you should be aware of your surroundings, etc.  These are all valid points.  However, when faced with real danger, will you remember that email you skimmed last year?  Not likely. You need to practice self defense techniques.  Why do you think schools have fire drills? Hopefully by walking the children through an actual emergency, they will remember what to do.

Your best defense is to avoid situations of vulnerability. I am always amazed at the number of females walking or jogging alone, both early morning or late at night, when it is dark outside.  Or the mother with her baby in her arms, toddler in tow, carrying shopping bags.  Her position is screaming, “I am helpless against defending myself at this moment!”  Ladies, use a shopping cart or stroller to keep your hands free.

Your Purse Doubles As a Weapon

You have a whole arsenal of items in your purse that can be used to defend yourself, should the occasion arise.  Your purse itself can be used as a deterrent.  Loop the handle around your wrist so that you have a good grip on it.  Not only will this avert any would-be purse snatchers, but you can swing your hand bag around and swat your attacker. We know how heavy our purses can be.  This is a perfect impromptu weapon.

Next carry your vehicle's door key between your first and second finger. Make a fist around the rest of your keys so that the long skinny part of the key is pointing outward as you walk. You can still open your door holding the key this way.  Should someone come up from behind you, you are in a perfect position to jab your attacker's eyes with that key.

Get Some Popcorn and Watch Movies

Did you know an ink pen can save your life?  If you do not believe me, rent The Bourne Identity, with Matt Damon.  It is startling how much damage a small, thin writing implement can cause.  Hold it in your hand as you walk.  If need be, jab it into the eyes, the temple, or up the nose.  I am telling you, that kind of pain will cause your attacker to back down and will give you a chance to run.

Another good movie to glean some self defense moves is Enough, with Jennifer Lopez.  The movie is about a woman with an abusive spouse. She had enough of his abuse, so she learned to defend herself.  One key element in her technique is that when her estranged husband took her on, she always, always, had her hands up in front of her midsection, palms facing out.  That way she could protect her vital organs but also had her hands in the perfect position to throw jabs.  Again, your first instinct should always be to get away.  If you are unable to do that, you need to be prepared to defend yourself.

About the Author

Laurie Ayers is Associate Director Marketing and Training Development at Defensive Countermeasures Institute, LLC ( She holds a black belt in Tae Kwon do and currently leads in-home self-defense protection parties in the West Michigan area. Laurie is also an Independent Director with Scentsy (

Read more by Laurie Ayers

2 comments so far...

  • Forgot to add: Later that summer Hallmark came out w/a totebag with a cartoon of Maxine and the caption "property of someone you dont want to mess with!" Guess who got that bag from me? So if you ever meet up with an elderly lady from Orlando, wearing a ball cap and carrying that bag, dont let the wheelchair fool you...she is definitely someone you dont want to mess with.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by MAC on 22nd May 2008

  • Sometimes, a womans best defense can be an attitude. True story: My elderly aunt Carol who lives in Orlando,FL was approached by a mugger in her local grocers parking lot. Now Aunt Carol looks just like "Maxine" on the Hallmark Cards. She was undergoing chemo, and walked with a cane at the time. The mugger didnt stand a chance against Aunt Carol aka "Maxine". She beat the mugger w/her cane and large handbag untill the mugger begged for mercy!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by MAC on 22nd May 2008