In the american based novel I'm reading, the young girl has just gone into a 99 cent store and bought a can of mace spray.
I'm very happy for her. Although its a novel, I'm presuming a young girl in the US could do this.
You can't do it here in Australia. It's illegal for anyone other than the police to carry mace spray.
I have two young gorgeous daughters and I thought I'd get them some. I'd seen little cans of it in a US magazine and they looked like little funky lipstick tubes. But the best you can do here is a small alarm that you can put on your keyring and I guess it makes such a big scary noise it scares the rapist away.
Kimba works in quite an isolated area. Recently she had to stay late on her own as the computer system was down so she couldn't reconcile the day and leave until she'd fixed it. All the other shops in the area had closed. While she was there a man came and started bashing on the door. He was crying and yelling at her that he knew she had stolen his dog. So she went over to the door and said she didn't have his dog but that she had seen the security guards take it with them when they left (because he had left it tied up somewhere). Well, she said he went off then. He was crying and walking around screaming out – security guards, where are you? for a while, then it was quiet.
So she then has to go out and lock up the shop in the dark and walk through an empty mall to the bus stop. Of course she's worried that he may still be out there. And who's to say he's not. He's obviously a little unbalanced and he thinks she's stolen his dog. If she could have had a tube of mace in her hand, she might have felt a little easier.
Then one night she was out and walking between pubs with a guy she'd met and six young idiots ran out of a car park and yelled – give us your money and threw the guy she was with on the ground. She said she just bolted. She said she ran about four blocks until she came to a 24 hour reception motel and she went in there and told the woman but she said it wasn't any point ringing the police because they don't do anything anyway. I was scouring the paper the next day to make sure there was no mention of a body found in the area!
Mace may not have been any good in that situation if they had decided to go after her but it's still better than nothing. I really feel young women should be able to have something like that. I'd like some myself. I'm sure we're not all going to go mace mad and spray every man in sight. I guess self defence classes are the best we can do.
Anyway here's a nice photo of Kimba that Lizzie took for school photography. I was trying for a cross processed kind of effect. My money mind you – she never has any.