Everyone should know how to self defend themselves, more so in Pakistan, as several people in authority have a misogynist mindset. Here are a couple of things people can do for their self defence.
Self Defend Against the Mindset
There is one thing you have to accept, your limits. It could be your gender, your age, your belief system, your upbringing, where you are or simply everything versus your attacker(s).
Remember, the mindset of an attacker is to overpower you and become the victor. Armed with this knowledge, you can out smart them if your prepared and lucky.
While no amount of preparation can save you if you are out numbered or by luck, are saved by someone.
Here are some pointers to keep in mind every time you, the minority, wake up in morning, noon, evening, and night, or are about to fall asleep. You know you are in danger.
Know the Law
Several people don’t know the law, here’s your chance to educate yourself. For cyber harassment, the law is different, and will be covered separately.
You can download the criminal law directly to understand what it says, but yes in short it says:
- Rape of all kind is punishable with imprisonment for life and monetary fine.
- Anyone obstructing police work or govt official is going to be punished with imprisonment of 1 year.
- Any govt. official who takes advantage of their position and commit rape – imprisonment for life and monetary fine.
- Publicising the identity of an alleged victim, the person doing it, shall be punished with a maximum of 3 years imprisonment and monetary fine.
- Female survivor’s statement will be recorded in the presence of a female police office or female family member of survivor.
- Consent of survivor will be taken before medical examination.
- A rape trial should be concluded within 3 months or the matter will be taken to Chief Justice of High Court.
- All trial will be conducted privately via camera and not made public.
There are few more pointers to this amended law but the gist is above and screenshot is below. We can also see there is no law against self defending.
Keeping in mind the wide gap between crimes, reported ones and the punishment, its safe to assume that minorities in Pakistan are NOT safe.
Hence, other measures or alternatives have to be brought in to take matters in own hands.
Know Your Rights
You have the right to defend your life, your wealth, and your respect. For women, the problems keep arising in all forms of abuse within and outside marriage. Be it harassment, groping, jeering, assaults, domestic violence, child marriage, or marital rape. And, on top of all this, in Pakistan, the perpetrators walk free.
Part of defending yourself is in the freedom of carrying and using tracking devices, baseball bats, chilli powder and even stones. So while we will cover them, the first thing you need to know is that you are free in Pakistan but yes, bound by idiot mentally which surrounds us from all sides.
Idiocy also means stupidity and the way to work around is to use common sense and being observant.
Be Vigilant all the time.
- The minute you book a car-ride, take a screenshot and keep the ride shared with close relatives. Take the route you know, if you don’t, learn it before leaving.
- Its advisable to NOT listen to songs while you’re out and about. Focus on the route you are taking, the people around you. The name of roads you are passing
- While it’s basic ethics to not stare at people, you have to note every person who is around you.
- If you own a smartphone, make use of it – share your live location via Google Maps with your trusted family & friends. You just need 1 or 2 people who will always have your back.
- If you feel Google Maps is too intrusive, download a tracking app that monitors your movements.
- Keep Mohafiz on your phone. The App has several server issues and while testing it I myself came across several glitches, but you need it if you’re a woman, minority, or child in Pakistan.
Train to Defend
If anyone who has read Harry Potter knows that no amount of training can prepare you for what comes at you. But this doesn’t mean that you roll over and give in.
Training to defend can help in building stamina and that’s what we’re aiming to do here.
Although its a Facebook Page, the Forge is trains people in Taekwondo, Kick boxing, Boxing, Judo, Mixed Martial Arts, and self-defence classes for women.
Also a facebook page, CheckMat Karachi has a branch in Karachi only and they train women too.
Survival Gear & Where to Buy
Pakistan has 4 provinces with Islamabad as a separate entity. What’s declared illegal in one, is legal in another. Here is a breakdown
Pepper Spray Alternative
Several websites proclaim to own it, but refuse to sell it. The alternate is any cheap body spray/deodorant that fits in the palm of your hand.
The second alternative is the spray can for “First Aid”. Easily available and its actually very useful for cuts and minor injuries. So carrying this a plus point from all directions.
Third alternative is just any spray. Spray paint, hairspray, cooking spray (I’ve heard of paprika flavour), but literally – the idea is to have a small, concealable bottle with something that can deter
If you’re still determined to get a pepper spray and nothing else, visit DesertCart via iOS or Google Play Store and locate your item to buy.
As per customs law, Tasers are not allowed but says nothing for Pepper Spray!
Taser is declared illegal in Punjab, but nowhere else in PK. Again, no law against self defending.
While Survival Gear and Just Hunters both keep knives, your kitchen too has them. This is not to come off as a ridicule, but to remind you that if you ever happen to face someone off in home, move towards the kitchen because that is where the frying pans and knives are.
Remember, if you have a spray-can and you have a lighter… then… you can do more damage.
If you’re looking to buy a serious knife that can do some damage to your attacker, go with Sable Knife as its best for self defence.
My bicycle has a security horn and while buying it was an accident, I still feel its a great tool for self defence. Products of Sabre are generally considered good.
You can search for “Personal Security Keychain Alarm” because that’s how its usually worded in online stores. I did not find any local or online store selling these, but you can buy it from AliExpress or DesertCart.
The idea is to blow the senses out of your attacker. The ear-piercing 120dB siren is audible up to 600 feet which is 185 meters in all directions!
The batteries these Alarms use are the ones in wrist watches but 4. So LR41, but 4 of these.
Identifier Gel Spray
Spraying the gel on your attacker is meant to identify him for several days. It doesn’t contain pepper, just a permanent dye.
This does give a person ideas as to what and how they can cook something in their own kitchen, pour the contents in a powerful spray bottles and keep for a rainy day.
To buy the item directly, we recommend using Amazon and shipping to Forward2Me address and then forwarding it to yourself.
Remaining Vigilant in Scenarios
Here are two scenarios for now (we’ll be adding more later):
Going to a Mall/Visiting Anyone/Bank Trip/Any Meetings:
If comfortable, share your live location via private messaging apps like Signal and Telegram with a trusted person.
When beginning your journey, speak clearly on the phone in the language of the driver, to inform the same trusted person that you’re on the way and that you have shared the live location. This is a vital step for you to take. It informs the driver that there are people who know you have started the journey, are expecting your arrival and know your live location.
Always keep a bunch of keys with you which are attached to a lanyard (Available to buy via Daraz easily). Proves helpful.
Returning Back or Arriving
When returning home or arriving at your destination, monitor the people around your drop point.
- Do you suspect anything fishy?
- Is everything looking normal?
- No strange cars/bikes blocking your entry gate?
If you have keys to your place, keep them ready so that as soon as you’re in front of the gate/door, you unlock and go straight in.
Do NOT answer any calls right outside your gate/door or when returning back. DO NOT lose focus on getting back inside in a zap!