Like it or not, we live in a very violent society. Some people prepare for violent moments we will all face at one point or another by arming themselves with a gun or some other more-traditional weapon, or by simply avoiding areas where they are more likely to be attacked. While all these measures may come in handy, none is fail-proof. Even if one takes drastic measures, a violent attack may still happen, especially at a time or place when one may least expect it. A good approach, therefore, in addition to taking those other preventive or self-defense-preparation measures, is to be ready to use whatever everyday object is available at the time of the attack.
Whatever object you choose as an improvised weapon, think of it as an integral part of and extension of your body.
If you anticipate a confrontation, and avoidance is not possible, prepare in advance for it by already having an object in your hand. If the improvised weapon is on you, take it out of your pocket, purse, or briefcase. If the item in the environment, walk the few yards to reach and grab it.
Classes of Improvised Weapons
Different classes of improvised weapons include:
- Stick-like objects. Attack with swings or stabs. Examples: umbrella, fireplace poker, baseball bat, rolling pin, pool cue, tree branch, mop/broom handle, wrench.
- Stone-like objects. Throw or hold in hand for delivering punches. Examples: ashtray, tumbler, statuette, bottle, plate, can.
- Small objects. Distract the attackers attention. Examples: coins, wristwatch, keys.
- Shield-like objects. Stop or deflect a strike, can be rigid or soft. Examples: wood board, chair, trash can lid, large saucepan, shoulder bag, briefcase.
- Knife like objects. Stab or slash. Examples: broken bottle, scissors, sharp piece of metal, knitting needle, screwdriver.
- Rope-like objects. Lash, entwine, strike, or tie up. Examples: rope, bicycle chain with lock, chain, belt.
- Liquids and sprays. Throw or spray into face. Examples: beverage, hot coffee, soup, handful of sand, fire extinguisher.
- Structures. Push or pull attacker into a stationary object. Examples: Table, counter, pole.
- Combinations of the above. Some objects have 2 or more of the above characteristics. A chair can be used as a shield and stick. Sharp piece of glass thrown is both a stone and knife.
Conclusion: What you have to decide, if and when attacked, is whether you will go down fighting, or, instead, just let your attacker have their way with you, hurting you in ways that can range from assault, to rape, to having your life taken away from you. Considering that your life may very well be at stake, you are not wrong in thinking that drastic steps may be necessary, if someone breaks into your apartment, your house, your place of work, or you car. If you are lucky, they may only target your possessions (for which you should never risk your safety or your life), but, if they have something more in mind, like violating you or hurting you, you may have to do something that some may find disturbingly aggressive. The options may sound harsh but if they can help you survive the attack, then you should just do what you have to do. Simply put, your life and the lives of friends and family members may depend on it.