(WMC-TV) - You never know when or where you could be a victim. You may have thought about it before, but what would you really do if you found yourself in a dangerous situation?
Some women get permits to carry guns, though for many, that itself can be scary.
"People don't realize how much that really affects you," said Patty Lovette at Midtown ATA Martial Arts. "Even if you were justified in doing it, you are still going to have to live with that."
Self-defense gadgets are a dime a dozen online, but would they really help when it matters most? Action News 5 purchased some of the more popular items to find out, and asked a group of women taking a self-defense class for their take.
The first item tested was the Honey Comb hairbrush. It looks like a normal brush, but the handle hides a knife.
"If they see it out, they can take it from you," said Lovette of a possible assailant. "There is nothing to stop (them from) pulling it out of your hand."
What about the Slap Cap? It looks like a normal baseball cap that hides a metal insert that packs a hard punch. Lovette was skeptical.
"If you are afraid, you can lose the hat, or if they got hit, they could use it on you," she said.
Many top selling self-defense items found online were not winners in person, including the Pocket Shark - an over-sized ink pen that can deliver a mean blow to the eye.
Another item that often disappoints is the traditional mace sprayer on a key chain, because many victims are too nervous to successfully use such a device.
One item that received a positive review was the GE Smart Home Door Stop Alarm. It retails for around $10, and can be used at home, in dorms or hotel rooms. If the door is opened from the outside, a 120 decibel alarm sounds off.
"For its purpose, it's a very good thing," Lovette said.
Lovette said she often hears from women who want to protect themselves. Her advice: instinct and good judgment trump gadgets every time.
Slap Cap - $39
Sharkie - $10
Brutus the Dog Keychain - $15
Pink Pepper Spray - $10