EDC: In My Purse

Some time ago, I did a post about the things I carry every day in my pockets or on my body. In it, I promised to talk about the stuff that I always keep close by but not necesarily on my body. For this purpose, I’m using the phrase “in my purse” somewhat loosely. Depending on the situation – where I am, who’s with me, what’s around me, these items might not literally be in my purse. But they’re almost always close at hand.

Ready to take a look? Here’s what I’ve got:

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Self Defense = Risk Management

First of all, I need to make one thing clear: I firmly believe that 100% of the responsibility for a criminal’s violent act rests with the criminal. It’s his fault.

Now that that’s out of the way, what I have to say might make some people annoyed: Self-defense is about having the tools, skills, training and determination to keep ourselves safe when trouble finds us, but it’s also about managing the risks we take to stay out of trouble’s way in the first place. If we’re serious about our personal safety, we have a duty not to do dumb stuff that brings us into the path of harm.

I got thinking about this while reading an article about protecting oneself from rape on Marc “Animal” MacYoung‘s terrific “No Nonsense Self-Defense” web site. And what Marc had to say gets some people’s hackles up, because they hear it as blaming the victim when it’s really about acknowledging reality. Because, you see, a lot of Marc’s advice boils down to “don’t do stuff that makes you more vulnerable to being raped.”

“But wait,” I hear some people screaming. “I should be able to get dressed up and go out to party and that doesn’t mean I DESERVE to be raped.” So before I go any further, I need to say that, in addition to my own firsthand history with violent crime, I was also a rape crisis advocate for about seven years. I’ve talked to dozens of sexual assault survivors, and noticed some common threads in their stories. From that vantage-point, here’s how I see it.

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