No matter how much negativity there is on TV or on your Facebook feed, the world is still a good place. There’s really no use going out of the house and feeling paranoid that someone’s always going to jump out to catcall you or snatch your bag. That would be very sad and tiring.

What you should be, however, is prepared. While you shouldn’t jump to the conclusion that everyone you encounter out on the street is a criminal, you should always be aware of your surroundings and know how to react in case something terrible does happen. If you wish, you can always learn self-defense, but you can also use a few of the things you bring everyday to discourage anyone who wishes to harm you.

1. Your bag
The heavy bag you carry daily? That can cause blunt force trauma, especially if you have something like a laptop in it. Hitting an assailant who comes at you with your bag can effectively deter him from any other action. You can also use the straps to strangle him if you have to.

2. An umbrella
Umbrellas are great for hitting as well as for keeping a good distance between you and an assailant.

3. Any liquid in a spritz bottle
Perfumes or hand sanitizers in spritz bottles can also be used as a weapon. Of course you wouldn’t want to use that gentle hydrating mist you have: The more alcoholic or chemical the liquid is, the better. Spray it into the eyes of an assailant to stall him and give you the chance to escape.

4. A flashlight
Similar to the spritzing liquid into an attacker's eyes, flashlights or penlights can momentarily blind him enough for you to run away. If you don’t carry any of these, you can always use the flashlight of your mobile phone.

5. A ballpoint pen or pencil
Pens and pencils are actually very lethal. With enough force, you can use it to puncture a person’s neck or even stab him in the eye.

6. Your high heels
If you always wear heels, put them to good use! Kick your attacker where the sun don’t shine, or take it off and hit him on the face with it.

PRO-TIP: As with every self-defense tip and technique, the key is for you to immediately escape a dangerous situation. When you’ve managed to neutralize your attacker, run. Do NOT stay and fight. Report the incident immediately to the authorities, or call 911.

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