In order to maintain your personal safety you must again rely on the model of awareness to enable you to take an action prior to an assault on yourself. By using the model you can attempt to escape whilst the potential threats are far enough away or enable you to access a weapon you may have to defend yourself with.




In any dangerous situation avoidance is always preferable to a confrontation. In order to be able to avoid a threat we first need to identify it. Using LIFE we go through a process designed to maintain personal safety, however you must decide for yourself what is or is not a threat. If you are unsure assume everyone is a threat and take the appropriate action rather err on the side of caution than become a victim.

Avoidance of a potential threat can be done in many ways depending on the environment you find yourself in at that point in time. Below are a few examples of avoidance measures

  1. On a street

    Cross to the opposite side of the street to a threat if they are in front of you. Observe what the threat does when you do this, if they cross over then cross back if the threat crosses back they obviously have mal intent you then need to move yourself to a safer place or ready yourself to use a personal defence weapon and raise an alarm. If they are behind you cross the street and reverse your direction again observing the threats reaction. Follow the same action as previously mentioned if they reverse their direction or cross the street.

  2. In a car park

    On the way to your car walk around a block of cars so you are effectively going in a circle, your anti surveillance drill. If they follow you then head to a safer place keeping cars between yourself and the threat. Prepare to use a personal defence weapon and raise an alarm.

  3. In a mall

    Go into a shop and observe whether the threat stops and waits for you outside the shop, do this a few times and if the pattern continues get one of the store owners to call for the mall security who can verify your actions and those of the threats on their cameras. The security can then remove the threat from the mall and be on the lookout for them in future.

In the event of multiple assailants you have to be very careful to protect your back. If you have an assailant who manages to get behind you it is easier for them to overpower you. In any instance escape is always preferable to confrontation should this not be possible then try to get your back against a wall so you cannot be attacked from behind and have a personal defence weapon ready.




As mentioned at the very beginning you will always be dependent upon yourself and your own resources for your personal safety in the event of an attack. This can be aided by the fact that there are certain personal defence weapons (PDW) available to you.

The most obvious one to the majority of people is a firearm and this is the last personal defence weapon one should look at for the following reasons:

  1. Time constraints with licensing.

  2. Using a firearm requires a high skill level which requires maintaining as shooting is a perishable skill.

  3. If you are disarmed the weapon can be used lethally against you.

  4. Most people do not have it readily available but lock it in a safe.

One personal defence weapon that tends to come up a lot is the stun gun, this is a weapon which puts a high voltage between two prongs and on contact incapacitates the attacker.

The problem with the stun gun is that it is a contact weapon, you want to avoid contact as much as possible and the Taser type stun guns are extortionately expensive.

The recommended personal defence weapon is a personal defence spray, a pepper spray for a number of reasons, these are:

  1. It is cheap.
  2. It is a non contact weapon.
  3. Using the fog variant you can spray a cloud of pepper gas creating a barrier between you and any potential attacker or numerous attackers.
  4. This weapon incapacitates exceptionally well as it is an inflammatory agent not an irritant like tear gas.
  5. Pepper spray will stop almost any attacker, including drunks, drug abusers, psychotics, enraged people and even vicious dogs. The author has used pepper spray successfully on drunks, drug abusers and vicious dogs.
  6. It has an effective range of 3-4 metres so keeps distance between you and any potential attacker/s.
  7. No person has ever been killed by pepper spray.

In conjunction with any of the personal defence weapons above a high power torch is advisable for use at night. These torches are extremely bright and temporarily blind an assailant, while a strobe function will disorient.

Strobe lights have an effect on the eyes that stop the eyes from focusing properly in low light, allowing the user to create distance from the assailant. If the assailant come too close the torch can be used to hit in vulnerable areas, some torches are designed to be used as a pummel.

Carrying a personal defence weapon does not guarantee your safety because you have to be in a position to use the weapon and this is where our levels of awareness come in again.

On the level of AMBER you must have the weapon you wish to use out, in your hand ready so when you get to level red your can act. By looking at our personal defence flow chart we see that at the point between orange and red we are readying for action.

The only way you can maintain your personal safety is to use the model of awareness, if you can always try and escape from a situation as much as possible but be careful not to get yourself isolated.

Where there are higher volumes of people can potentially minimise the risk of the attack as there may well be someone who will come to your aid or witness the attack.




Should you not have a personal defence weapon available when an attack occurs there are a number of other items that may be on you or in your vicinity which you can use as improvised weapons, using any type of weapon when attacked is always risky in the event the attacker is not incapacitated sufficiently may anger the attacker. Examples of improvised weapons are:

  1. Spare change

    This can be thrown at an attackers face to distract them to enable you to try and escape.

  2. An aerosol

    Any spray from perfume, deodorant to an insecticide spray aimed at the eyes can incapacitate temporarily to enable you to try and escape.

  3. A sharp pointed instrument

    Any item that has a sharp point like a knife, a pen or even keys can be used to stab at an assailant’s vulnerable areas such as the eyes.

  4. A rolled up magazine

    This can be used as a club and end on into the chest will cause a lot of discomfort and into the throat can temporarily disable an attacker.

  5. The spine of a book

    Hitting an assailant with the spine of a book across the nose or throat can incapacitate them. Hitting down onto the collar bone could break the collar bone and incapacitate them.

  6. An Umbrella

    An umbrella can be used as a club it can be swung or prodded at an attacker. Use the handle end towards the attacker as the handle tends to be heavier. A good umbrella to use is a golf umbrella which has a long spike at one end and a heavy handle at the other.

As you can see literally any item can be used as an improvised weapon.

If an assailant has a firearm aimed at you it is not advisable to make any attempt at attacking the assailant as this is an extreme risk situation, attacking an assailant in possession of a firearm is never advisable.