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Self Defense Keychain Small Business

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TikTok’s niche of independent companies selling “self-defense keychains” to women is a trend that worries self-defense experts and exposes some of its merchants to potential legal trouble.

Self Defense Keychain Small Business

Self Defense Keychain Small Business

Also called “security key rings,” these colorful contraptions are sold in an oversaturated online market that taps into women’s fears about gender-based violence. The ventures are usually started by Gen Z women and offer almost identical products in all companies.

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Usually sold for over $30, key rings are marketed as must-haves for women who want to feel secure and beautiful. Attached to decorated bracelets and sweet pom poms weapons – sometimes hidden – such as pepper spray, stun guns, pocket knives or pointed brass knuckles.

These tools require proper training to properly handle, but security locksmith companies tend to provide little or no guidance on their use.

On TikTok, some retailers market key chains with grandiose claims, such as helping women fight bullies, free themselves from kidnapping attempts or even escape car accidents. Videos attract hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions of views.

While the closed lip glosses and hand sanitizers are exactly what they sound like, some of the weapons are made to mimic everyday items. Stun guns take the form of cell phones, car keys or lipstick. Pocket knives are hidden in hair combs, pens or lipstick barrels, also hidden behind fake keys.

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Other basic tools on these key rings include alarms that double as LED lights, a “belt cutter,” a pen that grabs doorknobs, and pointed tools called kubotans, a Japanese self-defense accessory.

The separate key ring components are available in bundles on platforms such as Wish.com and Amazon, but are also sold for under $10 by non-US retailers such as Alibaba, DHGate and Global Sources.

In a TikTok video viewed over 9.6 million times, the owner of Fabulyss Boutique, a leading security key chain store, made ambitious claims about the Kubatons in their products.

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“This could save your life if you’re stuck in a car because you’ve been in a car accident, get into the water or get kidnapped, it could just break the window,” she told her 1.4 million followers. “And it can also be used to attack your attacker.”

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Jennifer Cassetta, a self-defense expert who runs the online self-defense course “She Warrior,” said giving a “huge amount of tools” to a largely untrained customer base is “unrealistic.”

“In general, a tool is just a tool, it’s not a weapon unless you really know how to use it and have trained with it and understand it and what an extension of your limb are,” Cassetta said.

“Unless you train and you understand how to really work these things out and it’s second nature to you – how do you expect a young girl to pull something and stab someone in the neck who attacked her?”

In TikTok videos, weapons such as Kubatons, pointed fingers, knives and pepper spray have been demonstrated on fruit, pieces of meat, cans, synthetic meat and mannequin heads. Kubatons are known to be most effective on pressure points, but these how-to videos use them as piercing tools.

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Self-defense keychains (also known as security keychains) are sold in a super-saturated online market on TikTok, which addresses women’s fears about gender-based violence. TikTok screenshots

In demonstrating the potency of glass breaking items, the vendors used noticeably thin pieces of glass while claiming that their products were strong enough to break the thickest glass in buildings and car windows.

“If you don’t have power in your attack, you don’t break windows, I don’t care what you hold,” Cassetta said.

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In addition to quick demos, key ring influencers have also tried to convey confidence in their products through what-if situations packaged in TikTok memes. Fabulyss Boutique, for example, once featured its items in a video with the caption: “When a creepy guy follows you but doesn’t realize you have a security key fob.”

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“My problem with [keys] is, first, they’re very confusing, and second, people think they’re alone enough to keep them safe,” Dani Joy, principal instructor at IMPACT Personal Safety, a Los Angeles-based company. Self-defense organization said

. “Because when you’re attacked, when someone’s coming at you and you feel unsafe, your intuition is up, more than likely your adrenaline is up too.”

Joy said doing the simplest things while “high on adrenaline” proved more difficult than expected – a problem IMPACT addresses by performing “dexterity exercises”.

“Doing little things like trying to open a pepper spray and make sure it’s in the right direction and push a button doesn’t feel like it’s hard, but it is,” she said.

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“All those horror movie scenes where we watch the woman run away and she drops her keys and then she can’t put the key in the lock and we’re like, ‘How can you not do that?’ This is so accurate for adrenaline-pumping scenarios.

TikTok and the security keyring companies mentioned in this story were contacted for comment but did not receive a response at the time of publication.

To market their products as safety essentials, some key influencers have repurposed content that isn’t theirs, from packaging orders to audio of female voices recounting scary encounters to sharing local news about violence against women.

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After a young woman took to TikTok to report a strange man who had been following her and accused her, a business called SkyDefense saw an opportunity to duplicate her video and show off its split-screen keyring tools.

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Another TikToker who goes by DefenseFairy promoted her keychains by conveniently cutting videos from a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu school.

The keyring saleswoman duetted with a video in which a trainer discourages putting keys between her knees (a well-known improvised self-defense tactic used by many women), offering her product as a better alternative.

His spin-off ended prematurely, just as the martial arts expert was about to advise viewers to learn to fight and take self-defense classes.

She also saw a video in which the same trainer simulates the kidnapping of a woman, interrupting just before she learns fighting techniques. Instead, DefenseFairy tells its followers to “get yourself some self-defense tools that could literally save your life.”

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But learning to fight with bare hands is one of many crucial steps before handling weapons, according to Jennifer Cassetta.

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“You have to learn to block, you have to learn to attack […] and learn how to put power behind you,” she said.

“There are a lot of steps missing before you get to the guns,” she said. “There’s the mindset, practicing situational awareness, there’s all this other stuff — and self-defense.

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“If you don’t learn self-defense, how are you actually going to use fine motor skills in the moment and grab that big, clunky keychain, grab the right thing and make the right move with enough strength and power to do that? does it really work?”

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Evidence that key chains have saved women from harm is lacking, although positive customer reviews have expressed a greater sense of confidence since purchasing the products.

. “So if these tools give people that confidence to be in the world, that makes a difference.

Picture of a woman taking a self-defense class. Experts say women must learn to attack properly before they can trust any self-defense tool. iStock/JackF

Despite selling products they claim can save lives, some sellers have a limited understanding of real safety issues.

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Fabulyss Boutique, for example, promoted an Internet hoax that claimed human traffickers put ties on the car door handles of their chosen targets. (This has been debunked by fact-checking organizations like Snopes and PolitiFact.)

Another business called Gracefully Armed used the same scam to advertise their product in a TikTok video viewed over 726,2000 times. The video shows a person who found two separate cars held together by a chain of Zipties, which they cut with the store’s key.

DefenseFairy shared a video on “how to identify an enriched drink,” claiming that you can tell if the drink has been drunk by noticing excessive bubbles, color change, fog, or sinking ice. The video has been viewed over 1.7 million times.

Self Defense Keychain Small Business

A TikToker known as DefenseBabes posted the same “tips” in a video that has been viewed at least 3.1 million times.

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Because of the variety of so-called drug-rape drugs, there’s really no sure way to tell if a drink has been spiked just by looking at it.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, these substances are colorless, odorless and tasteless when added to a beverage. While a clear drink may change color or appear cloudy after peaking, this would be difficult to determine in a dark colored drink or in a dimly lit environment.

“Even I, with 20 years of experience, try to be careful with the words I speak and how I teach,” said Jennifer Cassetta.

A TikTok keychain seller who goes by Trap Girl Beauty shared questionable content to her 75,000 followers, including a video with the caption “I ship orders out of the country knowing the risk because I love you and want you to be safe. “

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