Lighting Up Sexual Assault and Harassment

There seems to be many more reports of women being sexually harassed in streets, public places and public transit. While less traumatic than actual assaults these situations do interfere with women’s basic human rights for unencumbered freedom of movement. Physical means of defense are only legal when the threat of actual assault is clear and can justify a response. There are few actions open to women in most situations other than to attempt to remove themselves and this can be difficult.

1

The use of a temporarily disabling bright strobing light in order to both draw attention to the threat and provide a few seconds of time to escape the situation seems a reasonable solution.

Since the retina does not have pain receptors the use of a strobe to induce temporary flash blindness this is much less likely to cause a violent reaction from the individual receiving the light.

The visual sensation produced can be compared to what happens to a person who is subjected to flash photography and after millions of flash cubes used over the years there has not been any permanent physical damage reported. A number of reports of police or military using strobe lights as a tactical response however these lights are designed for use by trained police normally working in pairs.

2

LED light sources used in incapacitating devices have been marketed. However, such devices typically provide insufficient illumination levels in an easy to direct beam of light to produce desired incapacitating effects in a size and weight useful for everyday carry by women.

Expensive and heavy Tactical Flashlights Tactical lights in generate very tightly focused beams of light in order to provide a bright light at long distance. Some have adjustable focus but even at widest settings have very tight beams that are difficult to keep held on the eyes of any threat.

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