A friend in need


April 3, 2003, 09:13 PM
OK folks, I need a little help here. I have a neighbor, female, early 40s, who is having troubles with a male acquaintance. So much so that she is concerned for her safety. I've spoken to her about protection (self defense) and while she is leary of guns (never been around them) she is willing to go shooting and learn the ropes. Her immediate concern is what does she do in the meantime.

I've spoken to her about non-lethal weapons and she wants to get pepper spray and/or a stun gun. My question to you folks here is what is the best option for both pepper spray and a stun gun for purse carry? Also, she plans to take a self defense course, but are there other options that I'm overlooking?

Your help and wisdom is greatly appreciated.

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April 3, 2003, 09:53 PM
Have her read Principles of Personal Defense by Jeff Cooper and go to http://www.gutterfighting.org and have her download Kill or Get Killed by Rex Applegate. Develop the mind, then develop the basic toolbox. Believe it or not, the mind can be developed in a relatively short amount of time with the proper instruction and motivation. And then train with her if you have the time. It will be good for the both of you.

April 3, 2003, 10:11 PM
Go with her to the pound tomarrow and get the biggest dog they have...I personaly do not care for Pit Bulls, but if were afraid for my life I would get one, always a good supply of them at the pound and their reputation alone may keep him away.

Get the pepper spray tonight, but I do not think the stun gun is a good idea unless she is well trained...too easy for someone to take it from her and turn it on her.

I would also get some of those door knob burgler alarms, and an alarm for the outside of the house so you or a neighbor can hear it go off.

Let us know how it all turns out.

April 3, 2003, 10:14 PM
She needs to immediatly contact the local battered women's shelter and ask for advice on how to file a peace order or restraining order against this person so that she is on OFFICIAL record as establishing the threat. She then needs to get the Fox 40 spray and she needs to get in good with the local women's abuse network. After all that she needs to train with a firearm and then purchase one for defense while at home.

As her friend you should be identifying the sources of training for her and getting professional weapons defense trainers lined up for her to choose from.

Don Gwinn
April 4, 2003, 09:02 AM
Dog is best.

Pepper spray is pretty good and can be combined with the dog.

Stun guns, IMO, are a waste of money. I'll never forget watching video of Cougar Allen at the BLADE show holding a stun gun in his chest and belly and walking around a mat. It hurt, but he could get through it. And frankly, you need to be as close as you would with a knife for less effect.

The dog is good. It wouldn't even need that much training. If she's just nice to it, it'll fall into the role of protecting her very naturally.

April 4, 2003, 10:30 AM
Although others have given some good advice, the reality is she is behind the curve in defending herself and is vulnerable to this guy.

Not necessarily her fault but a classic example of why people need to get some type of training in defensive tactics, [armed, unarmed, unconventional, etc.], before they need it.

Martial skills are not learned overnight and take a serious attitude toward defense of ones person and many hours of proper training to become adequate at defending your person.

Forget the sprays, they are not reliable enough for anyone to count on when the chips are down and do not always affect someone enough to incapacitate them.

A dog would be a good idea, but getting one now would really not help as the dog and owner need to "bond" and become comfortable with each other which takes some time. The dog will be in a new environment and not familiar with her routines and wants. The dog may give her early warning if it is a "barker" and she would be able to call the authorities at that time. The dog may also be a deterrent if it was big enough and the guy was the type who was afraid of dogs [ not very reliable to count on though ].

She should contact the local PD and have them file a restraining order against him. Our local "209a" restraining orders are issued if she feels physically threatened or he has verbalized threats to her. If she is contemplating taking gun training she must be in fear enough to meet that standard for a restraining order.

Though women are killed daily in the US while they have restraining orders issued against others it will put the PD on notice and give her some relief if he gets within the prescribed distance as set by the courts. He can be arrested if in violation and though not the solution, it neds to be part of the overall package in this situation.

I'd have a "big brother" stop by and have a talk with this guy. Then he knows he is dealing with someone other than the fairer sex. It could escalate/enrage him further or get him to understand she isn't alone in this matter and that others are aware of his unwanted presence in her life.

I may have to fly to Chicago in the next month to have a "talk" with someone who can't seem to grasp the concept of "let it go" and probably needs to be "wispered" to. :eek:

Hoping everything works out for your friend.


April 5, 2003, 10:03 AM

While I agree that she is behind the power curve for getting defensive training I'd like to recount a similar situation from past experience.

A very petite young blond woman started attending our hapkido classes. She was somewhat tentative at first and not very open and communicative. She worked hard, but seemed to have some sort of impediment to "getting into it". Since our instructor tried to pair people up of similar size or that were pals she worked with another woman of about her size (~5') while I worked with my buddy who was considerably bigger than me. After a couple of weeks the instructor changed my friend out for the woman that had been working with this new girl. I thought that was strange, but understood when my new partner explained that the petite blond had a husband who had been thrown out of the house for being abusive, but the guy just wouldn't go away. I asked about the changeup and she explained that the instructor wanted a large man similar in size of this woman's soon-to-be-ex to work with her so that she would develop specific skills suitable to her potential problem. Made sense to me and created a great deal of sympathy from me towards her (as it quickly did for the others in the class). She still was tentative for several days until one evening I watch her drop my 6'4" buddy onto the mat HARD in an escape from choke move. And she literally broke into a big grin when she did it. From then on her attitude changed and she became more effective in class and more open. Everyone, and I mean everyone from the instructor on down, offered to adjust her husband's "attitude" (in a amature chiropractic sense) for her, but she was determined to deal with the problem herself. And she did, without laying a hand on the creep. Seems her new attitude put the cowardly bully off and he slunk off and limited his behavior to nasty childish name-calling until that even tapered off. Any one, or all, of us would have paid this guy a visit, but her attitude change did the trick (and perhaps the reference to her friends in dojo didn't hurt either). It's never too late to work on learning to defend yourself since the first benefit is usually a change from appearing to be a victim.

April 5, 2003, 10:30 AM
All good suggestions. I had a classmate that lived close to me that went through this. Unlike my sister, she did take heed.

Immediate solution: R/O filed , put her vehicle in her bosses' garage, and since bosses wife out of town--used that car. She used my couch the first night, and for about a week roomed with some other classmates, she took a week off from work.

Stressful time since we were going through finals. The male aggressor was caught breaking into her place, stalking...etc., placed in custody. Classmate has since moved, works out of another office, and being time for a new vehicle , she traded for a newer one.

We never let her be by herself. She didn't then and time didn't allow for , but she has since taken steps to take care of personal safety. Books, training, CCW...etc. Our concern at the time was the immediate threat, couldn't /wouldn't depend on police alone. I made the suggestions and arrangements.

BTW,agressor was not a BF. Delivery person whom took a fancy and stalked her from work place.

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