by Kayla Floyd

In the words of Gracie Hart, played by Sandra Bullock in the movie “Miss Congeniality”: “Just remember to S.I.N.G—solar plexus, instep, nose, groin.” It’s a method of self-defense that the FBI agent in the film shows to get rid of an attacker from behind. While this movie might be a comedy, and the actors are not actual fighters, lessons can still be learned.

Just remember to S.I.N.G—solar plexus, instep, nose, groin.

Sexual assault is a very real problem, especially if you are a girl living on a college campus. While a lot of people don’t like to think about this problem, young women still have a flash of fear in their mind when they have to walk across campus late at night. Of course there are tips for all people to avoid sexual assault, here are a few:

  • Pepper spray. While it is illegal to buy mace at a store, pepper spray comes in all forms, from fake lipsticks to attachable bracelets.


    Bulldog keychains for self-defense (photo from

  • Another self-defense mechanism is the bulldog keychain. These keychains have holes where the eyes are and enable anyone to put their fingers through the hole to use the sharp ears of the keychain to stab at an attacker.
  • Another more active way to stay safe is to take a self-defense class. Many places in the Twin Cities offer self-defense classes that mainly target women looking to defend themselves. This is a life skill that will be beneficial to have and also can make a woman feel more confident in themselves.
  • Lastly, if you feel in danger and fighting is not an option, many women said that their first instinct is to run. Running into the nearest campus building and yelling for help would be their first response.
Self-defense is a life skill that will be beneficial to have. (Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).

Self-defense is a life skill that will be beneficial to have. (Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).

Of course, the University of Northwestern – St. Paul also has Public Safety to keep students safe. At any point of time at night you can dial the Public Safety number and request a ride across campus. Another tip is to never walk alone. Phone some friends, call a guy you trust if you feel unsafe to walk alone.

We live in a world of technology, therefore there are of course apps for this such as SafeTrek. This is an app connected to your friends’ phones that allows you to hold down a button for the duration for your walk. If you feel threatened or in danger you just pull out your phone and hold the button. If you release the button early and do not enter your four digit pin, the app will notify your local police of your location.

Overall, the world can be a scary place, but precautions can be taken to make us feel more comfortable on campus and back at home. Always remember to tell people where you will be and to not walk alone late at night. If you ever feel threatened or in danger, do not hesitate to call for help.

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