Many of us have used one or all of these at some point due to an injury. Criminals may see you as more vulnerable if you are using an assistive device. In fact, you may be less vulnerable. Two things all three have in common are they extend your reach and they make great “whacking” tools, used defensively of course!
If you find yourself on crutches or needing a cane for mobility assistance, take some time, at home, to practice swinging one without losing your balance, or your grip. Expect that if you aim high the aggressor will probably try to deflect and then grab it from you. Aim low, knees or lower, and either hit them hard in the side of the knee or try to sweep their feet out from under them. Anything to knock them down and give you time to hobble to safety.
A cane or walking stick can be swung like a bat, just keep a good grip so it can’t be wrenched away and used on you. A cane with a curved end, like a Sheppard’s hook, can be used to hook someone’s leg and pull, causing them to fall.
Don’t forget to use your voice; loud forceful commands to stay back, leave you alone, go away…the criminal will quickly realize they were mistaken thinking you would be an easy target. This may be enough to give them reason to look for someone less prepared.
Remember, just because you are injured, or look vulnerable, doesn’t mean you have to be. Practice your balance and moves in the safety of your own home, possible with a friend or family member to help you until you get comfortable balancing and swinging a crutch or cane so you don’t fall and reinjure yourself. Knowing what you can do in advance will make you more confident if you are confronted while you are out.
Stay alert, don’t be an easy target and be safe.
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