Keys as a weapon– Almost always the attendee’s comments are about the keys as a weapon. Not a bad answer given all the sound bites we hear on being prepared to gouge someone’s face or eyes with them if attacked.
The 50/50 Rule –This strategy might fall into what some would call the 50/50 category. There have been many accounts of a person using his or her keys as an effective weapon and successfully warding off or ending an attack.
But there have also been cases where the keys have injured the hand during a strike, and very often the dominant hand, leaving the defender more vulnerable.
Punching motion-This is more common when the key/s is/are gripped in the fist between the index and middle finger, or one over, with the heads of the keys firmly braced against the softer palm surface. When used in a forward punching motion the key can easily push back and rupture or damage the large flexor tendons or one of the hand bones. Injuries in this area are extremely painful since the hands are so highly innervated.
Slashing motion– If held such as in this photo, and used in an arching back and forth type slashing motion across the offenders head and face, there is much less chance of the injury described above, but the keys may still double back over upon impact and injure the little finger or thumb web area.
What would you do? -Despite this risk, if I were going to use the keys as a defensive weapon, I would preferably employ the latter grip as seen in the photo. Would you use your keys as a weapon? Think it through. All situations are different and your instincts will play a part in your decision.
What message is being sent– Getting back to the initial question. The stronger and more effective message that holding your keys sends is that you are ready to unlock your car door, front door etc the moment you arrive. Better said, this body language tells a would be perpetrator that you are a strategic person who will not be the one rummaging through your purse or pockets in that underground garage like so many easier targets they prefer.
The cell phone –By now you have noticed the cell phone in the other hand. Here the phone is seen as an asset that could be used to summons help immediately. This versus making yourself a soft target by engaging in conversation while in public, clearly a distraction and diminishing your awareness of your surroundings.
Tactile vs. Visual- Put a plastic color coded key head/ band around your house key. This key looks like many others and often results in us having to spend time, often in the dark, heads down, trying to find it. If you can ID that key by feel it will allow you to remain heads up as you unlock and enter, again making surprising you that much more difficult.
“Key Learning” -Keys can be used as a weapon but always remember the best weapon will always be your mind.