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11/26/2013 6:00:00 AM
Damsels without distress: Self-defense wares serve niche market
Terri Walters has made a business out of nonlethal self-defense products.
Terri Walters has made a business out of nonlethal self-defense products.

Kim Steele
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - When Terri Walters gives a home party, her display to potential customers doesn't consist of plastic food containers, colorful cosmetics or upscale cookware.

Instead, her brightly decorated table is covered with an array of pretty, pink self-defense and security products for women - stun guns, pepper spray, alarms, door stoppers and keychain sticks.

Walters has been selling Damsel in Defense items since April because she believes in their purpose and has given six parties so far. Products range in price from $10 to $60.

"I've tried selling a little bit of everything, from Tupperware and Mary Kay to Avon and Pampered Chef," said Walters. "But when I saw these self-defense items, I really thought they were great. I don't mind guns, but I won't carry one and I don't want one in the house because I have teenagers. These products will protect me and my family, and they can be carried anywhere without the worry of having a lethal weapon."

At a recent party, guests examined stun guns, from the "Call Me Crazy" model disguised as a cell phone that carries 4.5 million volts of electricity for dates gone wrong to the "Striking Distance" baton, which delivers six million volts of electricity for home and street protection and has a 12-inch reach.

Next up were pepper sprays, including the "Take 2," a small 2-ounce container that shoots up to 22 feet, has a glow-in-the-dark nozzle and contains ultra-violet dye for perpetrator identification. Other items featured "Where's Yo Baby," an alarm bracelet set for children who wander away from their parents; a hollowed-out hairspray can for hiding valuables; and a strobe-light-and-siren flashlight with a window-busting tool and seatbelt cutter.

Damsel in Defense was founded in September 2011 by two friends and moms, Mindy Lin and Bethany Hughes, in Idaho who were looking for non-lethal ways to protect themselves. Its mission is to equip women with self-defense products, empower them to protect themselves and educate them with self-defense training tactics.

According to the company, one in five women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime, and an aggravated assault occurs every 35 seconds. College-age women are four times more likely to be assaulted. Also, the company notes, every two minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted.

Carole Bergin, a partner in All-In-One Property Services, which provides yard maintenance and house cleaning, said she liked the "Sock It To Me" keychain stick because it could be carried for protection as she and her daughter worked. Also known as a kubotan, the weapon increases the power of a strike to bones, soft tissue and pressure points.

"If we're at a location by ourselves and there's no electricity or phone, it would be a big help if we were accosted or someone scary showed up," said Bergin. "To me, it's preferable over a gun, and I'm thinking about buying it. I think these kinds of products are a great idea for women like myself."

Nancy Baird also liked the kubotan, as well as the "Striking Distance" baton stun gun with its 12-inch reach. Baird said the Damsel in Defense items are good for anyone else wanting to arm themselves with a non-lethal weapon.

"These products are a good alternative to having a firearm and give women a sense of security," said Baird. "I think it's important for everyone to protect themselves. You never know what kind of a situation you can get into, and guns are not always an option."

For more information, call Walters at (928) 377-2850.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, December 12, 2013
Article comment by: Terri Walters

There are some places that you may not carry a firearm into. BUT you can carry your pepper spray and even your stun gun into those places. I am all about self protection, whether it be a gun, pepper spray, stun gun or any of the other products that I have or any one else has available. I have customers that have guns that they carry everywhere, but still have the pepper spray for the places they can not carry their gun into, so that they could get away from an attacker and get to the gun in their car.

Posted: Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Article comment by: R H

Situational awareness is more important than what you have in your hands but situational awareness AND a gun can keep you alive through far more situations than feel-good 'non-lethal' sharp sticks ever will. But hey ...If you don't trust yourself with a gun then maybe a sharp stick and pepper spray IS your best bet.

Posted: Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Article comment by: Rick O'Shea

I think that is fantastic, women should learn to defend themselves, they want to be equals in all things why not self protection.

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