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It’s important for men and women to protect themselves at all times, especially if they live or work in areas where the police response time may not be that fast. Do you want to be a victim? Of course not!

Here are some excellent new products hitting the market that are designed to help women protect themselves.

Guard Dog InstaFire

Carrying pepper spray is a smart and popular choice for many joggers and walkers. Unfortunately, some find themselves unable to grab their spray immediately when they need it; even a pocket can be too far to reach in a split-second. The InstaFire is a small, fingerless glove with a pocket for the pepper spray built right into the palm. The spray canister is held so that it is instantly available as soon as your fist closes. The canister is securely strapped so it will never fall out and features a lock mechanism to prevent an accidental discharge. It’s a natural fit with any athletic gear. For more information, visit guarddog-security.com or call 888-800-8440.

Mantis Knives Vicious Circle

Many women are reluctant to carry knives and aren’t trained to use them. Mantis Knives has developed a solution that is instinctively simple to use and attractive to wear. The Vicious Circle appears as a necklace charm (pictured here are the mother of pearl and abalone models). In an emergency, the wearer needs only to slip her finger through the ring and yank it off the chain. The motion automatically deploys the hidden blade and positions it like a claw on the outside of her knuckle. Her hand is now an effective weapon even without any special training. For more information, visit mantisknives.com or call 714-996-9671.

Taurus TCP With Wings

Many shooters struggle with racking the slide on their pistols, and Taurus has decided to do something to help them. The company’s new TCP pocket pistol in .380 ACP includes an innovative new feature: two little “wings” that swing out to form a handle at the end of the slide. With the wings deployed, the slide is suddenly simple to grip and easy to rack. The wings fold in flush with the slide when not needed, so the gun functions as usual. This addition promises to be a godsend for anyone with small, weak or arthritic hands. For more information, visit taurususa.com or call 800-327-3776.

The Home Security Handbook

Acclaimed self-defense author Lynne Finch has debuted her latest book, The Home Security Handbook. In addition to addressing defensive strategies for the home, Finch also covers other activities where risk is often underestimated, such as driving, living on a college campus and the internet. This book is a vital read for any woman (or man) regardless of their experience with firearms. The chapters are filled with sensible, practical advice for avoiding trouble and dealing with a variety of defensive situations. It’s a must-read for every young woman, and a good idea for everyone else, too. For more information, visit femaleandarmed.com.

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