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Self-defense as young adults

By Kylee Weber
On November 20, 2020

Graphic design by Kylee Weber

We have all found ourselves in a situation where we feel unsafe or uncomfortable as college students. This can range from walking to your dorm, shopping by yourself, driving by yourself and many more situations. These moments in time leave us to question what we would do if something bad were to happen. I have found myself questioning what to do, how to prevent these situations and how to protect myself as a young woman in college. 


However, there are several tools we can use to keep us safe and comfortable while being in college. 


One easy way to make yourself safer and comfortable is when you are alone, try to be on the phone with someone. This will give the illusion that you are waiting for someone and will be seen less as a victim. If no one is available for a phone call, even pretending to be on the phone will allow you to create a sense that you are meeting someone. If you are on campus, you can call Campus Security, and they can escort you to your location. Security is here to keep us safe and feel comfortable, and they are always available and helpful in these situations. If a situation was to occur while you are on the phone with someone, shout as much information as you can. This can be your location, what the person looks like and any info you can give that person. This will allow the other person to call authorities and give them information to help locate and assist you in a dangerous situation. 


Another option we can do as college students is have self-defense tools. These tools range from pepper spray, tasers, pocket knives, alarms and many more. The most important thing to know when purchasing these items is to only choose ones you are comfortable using. For example, I am not comfortable using a pocket knife as a self-defense tool because I do not have the knowledge or confidence in using it in the correct manner. Many of these tools offer training classes online where you can watch step by step the correct way to use it in a dangerous situation. 


The last tool we can use is knowing self-defense techniques. Ottawa University offers self-defense classes twice a year to ensure that students are safe. There are classes outside of Ottawa University that you can find in your local city or online. (Traditional martial arts are also an option) With COVID-19 occurring, a majority of classes are being held online and give you tutorials for specific situations. These physical measures take practice and must be used carefully. When participating in these activities, make sure to follow directions. Over time it will feel natural if a dangerous situation occurs. 


Regardless of your age or gender, we are all easy victims to dangerous situations when alone. Knowing the correct tools and options we can use will allow us to be safe and smart. Consider these tools the next time you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation. They could save your life. 


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