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The 7 Best Non-Lethal Self-Defense Products on the Market

These Self-Defense Products Can Save Your Life and Give You the Critical Seconds Needed To Escape an Attacker

As a Concealed Carry Instructor and Federally Licensed Firearm Licensee, you might think I only advocate for the use of a handgun or firearm for self-defense. That wouldn’t be entirely true. I teach and train women and those most vulnerable, how not to become victims. In most instances, I do believe the firearm is the most efficient and effective vehicle to secure those ends, but I firmly believe there is a place for the non-lethal self-defense weapon. After all, the end goal is to stop the attack. The firearm doctrines that I subscribe to, the USCCA and the NRA, of which I am both a certified trainer—the overarching goal is to use the firearm as a tool of last result. And if you can achieve the objective of stopping the assault without the use of a gun and without using deadly force, isn’t this the ultimate win/win?

In 2009 the Sanford Law Review wrote a study on Non-lethal Self-Defense Weapons and the rights to keep and bear arms and defend life. Granted, this writing is slightly over ten years old; it still had some interesting insights on the subject. At the time, they stated that in most states where firearms were legal, and people were free to carry in the same situations that stun guns and irritant sprays were illegal. But by 2014, an article in The Marquette Law Review on the same subject, aptly titled Second Amendment Decision Rules, Non-Lethal weapons, self-Defense, argued that these non-lethal weapons should be afforded the same protections under the Second Amendment. I won’t get into all of that legalese, but most of these weapons are now legal throughout the United States, however, check your state’s laws to understand what is permissible and what is considered illegal in your state. I am glad prevailing attitudes on these self-defense tools have changed because, quite frankly, a firearm is just not an option for a lot of people, and a non-lethal means of self-defense may be a better option.

My Credentials. I am a USCCA and NRA certified instructor. I hold the following teaching credentials, Basic Pistol, Personal Protection Inside the Home, Personal Protection Outside the Home, Shotgun for Home Defense, Concealed Carry, and Home Defense Fundamentals. I have also studied martial arts for years and taken a couple of courses to defend against knife attacks. I have been a concealed carry permit holder in several states for over 15 years, and a state-licensed instructor for 3. I started my company with the mission statement of empowering women not to be victims.
My company’s customer avatar is a 35-60-year-old woman who is professionally employed, independent, active, and in a lot of cases living alone. She may or may not have children still in the home. This customer avatar–lets call her Jenna, goes to the gym or jogs, and is active in her community, she volunteers attending church or religious services. Jenna may have a job that makes her slightly vulnerable, i.e., real estate agent or working in corporate America. That job may require travel or meeting alone with clients; Jenna is most often the breadwinner and is casually dating.

If you did a profile of the perfect victim, my customer avatar might be at the center of the Venn Diagram with overlapping circles. Jenna goes out at night; she lives alone, works alone, or is self- employed. She uses technology. She is social belonging to internet groups or causes, and enjoys a night on the town, she uses the internet to meet people or date, runs or walks to stay healthy, and may even hike or camp. She travels and possibly commutes. I would bet this describes most people who are reading this article. My Customer Avatar is why I feel uniquely qualified to write on this subject, add to that I am a father of four girls, and you can glean a little of my purpose and why I am so passionate about this subject.

Venn Diagram for perfect victim

For a person to go from victim mentality to the conscious choice of not being a victim, there needs to be a paradigm shift. One needs to go from unaware and oblivious to their surroundings to be vigilant and always observing, prepared, and on guard. I like to call this having your head on a swivel. Constantly scanning, making eye contact, and mentally preparing an escape route for hypothetical situations that could arise.
One of the best tools for this paradigm shift is to incorporate the Cooper Colors of Situational Awareness into your daily life and process everything through this new filter.

What is Coopers Situational Awareness? I have written several blog posts that included Coopers Colors. I think this is one of the essential concepts in being aware and ultimately self-defense and not becoming a victim. In full transparency, you cannot have a discussion on self-defense without the mention of Coopers Colors and situational awareness. Defined, situational awareness is simply knowing what’s going on around you. Another more technical definition is as the RSOG states, the perception of the elements in the environment within our volume of time and space, the comprehension of their meaning and the projection of their status in the near future.

Woman being stalked before an attack

untilPolice One, a Police Training website, penned the article titled Cooper’s Colors: A Simple System for Situational Awareness. In a nutshell, the system assigns a color to the threat level and your level of awareness of the said threat. There are four levels with a corresponding color.

Coopers Situational Awareness

a. White
b. Yellow
c. Orange
d. Red

Condition White you are relaxed and unaware of what is going on around you. The image most often associated with condition white is a younger woman walking down the busy street in a metropolitan area with her full attention on her cell phone as she posts or texts. Assailants prey on victims in condition white, and they make for the easiest targets. Another good visual for a person in condition white, is after a night on the town, with friends and a few drinks, walking to your car alone in a poorly lit parking garage texting and unaware of the world around you.

Coopers Color Code White

Condition Yellow you are still relaxed but slightly more aware of what is around you. You are paying attention to the sights and sounds around you, whether at home or out. This position prevents you from being surprised, unlike white, where your defenses are completely down. An excellent visual for yellow is if you are home reading and hear a noise. You investigate or are walking to your car with your head on a swivel, scanning and looking around and occasionally behind you until you are safe in your car.

Condition Orange you have identified a potential threat, real or perceived. Until you determine the true nature of whatever has piqued your interest, your radar is concentrated on the possible danger. Only when you have determined it is not a threat do you relax; you remain in this heightened state until you give the all-clear. A good mental picture for condition Orange might be you sense a figure is following aggressively as you walk to your car, you take evasive action and turn into a business or crowded area. The man keeps going to the bus stop and gets on the bus. This would explain his faster walk and a sense of purpose the stranger seemed to have as he was closing on you.

Condition Red would be if the man who was following too closely attempted to grab you, and this potential threat became an actual threat. In condition red, you have identified the threat; you focus all effort on stopping the threat and or evading the threat. Think of this as natural your fight or flight responses kicking in.

Man Snatching a Purse

Man Snatching a Purse

In a threatening situation, you may experience one or all of these physiological responses, loss of fine motor skills, adrenaline surges, auditory hallucinations, time dilations, and tunnel vision. You may experience hearing sharpness; pain perception drops, an increased heart rate, increased oxygen flows according to a piece in Healthline, titled Fight, Flight, Freeze: What this response means.

Your natural responses will be to fight, flight, posture, or submit.

Compensated Affiliate Disclaimer

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means if you buy the product I may receive some monetary compensation. I only recommend products I use and love!


Given these physiological responses, and the natural tendency of flight, fight, posture or submit, it is crucial to have a self-defense tool that you can intuitively use, one that will not require fine motor skills. The USCCA doctrine teaches that loss of fine motor skills is akin to submerging your hands in cold water for five minutes. That sensation of not being able to operate small switches or knobs and buttons is very similar to the loss of fine motor skills.


This list of 7 of the best non-lethal self-defense products that can save your life are:

  1. Pepper Spray

Uses Bluetooth to sync seamlessly with our Shield Community App to automatically send alerts to your trusted contacts in case of emergency.

• Disable pin prevents your pepper spray from being used against you
• 18% OC (oleoresin capsicum)
• 2 million SHU (scoville heat units)
• Shoots up to 16 feet
• Continuous stream for 3-4 seconds (.5 ounce)
• Quick-release/one-hand operation
• Locking, glow-in-the-dark nozzle
• Instant effect on attacker
• UV (ultraviolet) identifying dye
• Non-toxic and non-flammable
• Laboratory tested
• Water-based



This is in my opinion one of the most effective non-lethal weapons you can carry. It has a spray distance of up to 16 feet. More than enough distance to stop a potential threat before it starts and it also gives you a head start to get to safety. Combined with one of my favorite techniques, I teach women, “yell stranger danger”, activate your personal alarm, and run like hell!

Pepper Spray

2. Protected Pepper Spray $19


Disable Pin Pepper Spray
The Only Compact, Disable Pin Enabled Pepper Spray on the Market at 18% OC
• Disable pin prevents your pepper spray from being used against you
• Locking, glow-in-the-dark nozzles
• Causes no permanent injury
• Even works on those under the influence of drugs or alcohol
• Safety feature prevents accidental discharge


My favorite feature on this pepper spray is the disable pin that prevents it from being used against you.

Pin Protected Pepper Spray3.  Sock It Slim $12.00

This popular keychain striking tool increases the power of any defensive strike.
•Ultra-slim profile for concealability
•Durable and lightweight machined aluminum
•No-slip grip contour
•Keychain adaptable


When flight and evade is not an option and you must fight, this is the perfect weapon, this can disable and stop the attack if you strike into soft tissue, eyes, nose, collarbones. These are very discrete and attach to a key ring, but when forced into action this is a very effective weapon that can allow you space to flee and run to safety. Chances are your attacker will flee first, screaming and in excruciating pain if your strike is successful.

Sock it Slim self-defense tool

4.  Tactical Pen $25


This multi-use striking tool is a self-defense item that can be used as a flashlight and features a jagged edge to obtain DNA from an attacker. All of this comes disguised as a normal pen with a free ink refill!
• Jagged tip to obtain DNA
• Disguised striking tool
• Fully functioning pen
• Comes with free ink refill
• LED flashlight (battery included)


This innocuous looking ink pen pulls double duty as a striking tool, knife and flashlight. The attacker won’t know what hit him. This pen can do serious damage on soft tissue that can give you space and distance to get to safety, and leave evidence to convict your attacker later.

Tactical Pen

5.  Striking Tool $15

The Striking Tool is a premium Damsel exclusive striking tool it features a platinum protected finish and durable rubberized non-slip grip. Similar to the other striking tools listed above, it is an effective offensive weapon in a defensive situation where retreat is not an option. This tool is discrete and unassuming that can be a part of your everyday carry (EDC) in a purse, pocket, and can be carried when jogging, walking or just out running errands.

 Striking tool for self-defense

6.  Hear a Pin Drop $19

Personal Alarm
Fashionable personal alarm that can alert others for assistance in a variety of emergencies.
• 120-decibel alarm
• Keychain ring included
• LED Light
• Automatic easy-pull alarm
• 3 LR44 batteries (included)

This is the first passive tool I have recommended. I think in conjunction with the other tools this is a must have. The reason it is so far down on the list is, as a society we have become kind of numb to alarms. There is a car alarm that goes off every 4 seconds across America. When is the last time you paid more than a passing attention to it? People use the panic alarm to find their car in a parking lot. Think about it, how many times have you heard an alarm go off and you gave it no more than a passing glance? Where this does become effective in my opinion, is after you have countered your attacker with one of the striking tools or pepper spray, and you are running to safety yelling stranger danger, (because people will spring to action to help a kid, and often times it is more effective than yelling help) and the alarm is going off, chances are the attacker will run to evade being seen, witnessed or captured.

Hear a Pen Personal Protection Alarm7.  Safelee Sleave Bulletproof Panel $150

SafeLee Sleave – Bulletproof Panel
Slide this innovative safety item into any backpack or bag for firearm coverage. We hate that there is a need for this product in our line, but we are proud to answer the requests of so many.

• 10 inches x 12 inches in size

Product built to comply with NIJ IIIA

Safelee SLeave Bullet Proof Insert

The Safelee Sleeve combined with the Backpack $75  gives you some protection from bullets.

This multi-way bag allows you to backpack, cross-body or side shoulder carry your concealed weapon and other goods. This premium bag even features a pocket for our SafeLee SLeave bulletproof insert.

Backpack with bullet proof insert sleeve

Combined with the above safe defense products, a basic knowledge of self-defense and some simple tips may very well make the difference in you becoming a victim and fending off an attempted attack or defending yourself so you can flee to safety. This video with Martial Arts Hall of Fame inductee Rodney Childs will give you some additional tips to help you with defend, fight and flight.

  • He covers some Self-defense techniques
  • Simple Escape and flee tips


In Conclusion

Your ultimate goal is to make it home safely. It is also to be safe in your home, and other environments and a myriad of different situations, whether out with girlfriends, while meeting new prospects while dating, or simply working in your profession. If a self-defense class isn’t feasible and you are not comfortable with becoming a concealed carrier, either because you have oppositions to firearms, aren’t comfortable with them or don’t feel you could ever take a life to save your own, these non-lethal weapons and self-defense tools are for you. These Damsel in Defense products are perfect for making sure you can avoid becoming a victim. I’ve written a few articles I would recommend, Safety Tips to get through the summer, and 12 days of Safety. Both are packed with tons of tips, hacks, and suggestions to help you stay safe. Damsel in Defense also has products for your vehicle, your home, or while traveling. I definitely recommend you take a look at this site, they carry everything from stun guns to concealed carry purses, emergency tools, to digital defense. I will close by saying, these products could save your life.

Kevin Flowers's Headshot 2019

Written by Kevin Flowers

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