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Personal Safety and Self-Defense

Ask the Experts by Ian Kinder

Q. My daughter and I walk every night. With the days getting shorter, we are walking at dusk, sometimes even later. What can we do to stay safe?

A. Walk in well-lit, open areas that are well populated and active. Avoid dark areas that are confined and isolated. Carry charged cell phones and stay in areas where there is a good signal.

It is always a good idea to be trained in self-defense and carry a personal protection device, such pepper spray or a TASER. Stabbing an attacker with a ballpoint pen can even at times be enough to distract the attacker and give you time to flee.

Don't forget a women's best friend - dogs are great companions and wonderful protection.

Walk defensively like you drive defensively - not in fear, but aware and prepared.

Q. I would like to take a self-defense class. How do I find a reputable, experienced self-defense class?

A. Real self-defense should be simple, practical and easy to learn and retain. Find a program that allows practice on an "attacker" wearing a padded suit so you are able to practice your skills under real conditions.

Q. I am not as quick on my feet as I used to be when I was young. How can this active, but elderly lady protect herself?

A. It is not impossible for elderly people to successfully defend themselves. There is always safety in numbers, so recruit a few of your friends to go with you. Many shopping malls have walking programs before stores open.

If you are approached, shouting for help or asking someone to call 9-1-1 is sometimes enough to cause the attacker to run. Personal alarms, that sound an ear-piercing siren, may also ward off a potential attacker.

Learning unarmed, self-defense skills that don't rely on age, gender, size or strength is also recommended. 

Q. My daughter moved away to college last fall. Now that she is making friends and starting to socialize with them off campus, I worry about her. I don't want to ruin her fun, but, what can she do to be safe?

A. Until she gets to really know her new friends, she should go out with a group of people. She should always pay her own way to eliminate any expectations and not rely on anyone else for transportation.

If she is at a party or club, she should always be in possession of drinks. Do not leave drinks unattended at the table to dance or use the restroom. She should take drinks with her or wait until they are gone. Placing her hand over the top of the glass also helps prevent anyone from dropping something in her beverage.


Kinder self-defense instructor, Live Safe Academy, LLC will present Live Safe for Mothers and Teen Daughters on Wednesday, March 6, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the first of four Family Center Ask the Experts Series being presented in partnership with Beaumont Hospital, Grosse Pointe and Spirit of Women at Beaumont.

Presentations will be held at the Barnes Early Childhood Center, 20090 Morningside Drive, Grosse Pointe Woods.

To register, call 313-432-3832 or visit the calendar >>

Enriched Communities Through Strong Families
The Family Center serves as the community's hub for information, resources and referral for both families and professionals. The Family Center is a non-profit organization founded to promote a deeper understanding of the role of parents and others in supporting our youth to become competent, caring and responsible community members.

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