Here is a great little video for both men and women on the basic strategies and tools of self-defense. A tactical flashlight (a flashlight that is very small, concealable, and easy to carry yet exceptionally bright) is a great tool and I carry one everywhere I go. The nice thing is that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get a decent one.
I carry the Olight S1 Baton and I’ve very happy with it. It is very small but very well made and it is the brightest light I have ever owned. Priced at only $60 it puts out an incredible 500 lumens, has a magnetic bottom which is very handy, and has a rechargeable battery.
I’m not a big fan of using your keys for self-defense (they can twist in your hand and injure you, you could damage or lose them and not be able to get into the safety of your car or house, and if you use them for self-defense you may have to give up your keys to the police as evidence) but a pen is a good tool. You don’t need to buy a fancy self-defense pen, but a decent and sturdy metal pen will do. I have a nice metal pen that is attractive, writes very well, I can walk right through security with it and take it anywhere in the world, and yet if I ever needed to use it for self-defense it is a more than adequate tool.
Knives are great tools but I’m not a big fan of carrying them for self-defense. Pepper spray is much better for stopping someone than a knife in most cases and I probably will not accidently kill someone. I always carry a small Swiss Army Knife in my pocket which could be used for self-defense but that’s not why I carry it. James Williams (the man in this video) designs come great knives and I do have his smaller lock-blade knife called the “Hei Ho” (military strategy) which is a fantastic knife and I do carry it from time to time but a knife is certainly not my first choice for self-defense.