Link with full entry:
Important outtake in the middle:
A rangemaster at gun school who was also a sheriff's deputy once told me about a nurse who had serious ex-boyfriend problems. After responding to one of her 911 calls, he told her she should get a handgun. He offered to advise her on weapon selection and arrange for training.
She said she'd think about it, and asked her hospital colleagues what they thought. Thoroughly indoctrinated in pacifist attitudes, they were horrified and told her she should get a whistle instead. That was what she decided to do, and the deputy said he could not talk her out of it.
When her body was later found in the hospital parking lot, the whistle was still between her teeth. She had blown it until it filled up with blood as she died.
You are responsible for keeping yourself safe. No one else can or will do it for you. When the moment comes, it is entirely likely that you will be completely alone.
Most of "self-defense" occurs in your head---because that is the part that causes you to be aware, to stay out of potential situations, and when in one, to act and react appropriately.
Don't let yourself be over-ruled by what "people might think" or what society says is "acceptable behavior." Do what you need to be safe.
Read the whole of Hecate's post.