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Damsel in Defense hosts personal protection parties presenting self-defense easy-to-use products such as mace. A consultant visits a person’s home or apartment complex, and explains the products’ usability by giving hands-on demonstrations. At the closing of the presentation, attendees can make purchases.

75 year old Shirley Snow, is cautious about keeping her front door bolted at home. Though she lives on the third floor of her apartment building, she said she’s diligent about locking her patio door as well. “You’re the only one that can protect yourself. No one else is going to,” said Snow, who lives alone. Snow also prefers to have company join her on her regular walks around Longview, including strolls around Lake Sacajawea. But for those times when Snow can’t convince her friends to join her, she’ll be accompanied by a can of mace.

“With something like (mace), I feel secure,” Snow said. “If I have to use the whole thing on (an attacker) I will.” At a recent Damsel in Defense party, Snow purchased a can of mace that contains 18 percent oleoresin capsicum (OC), the pepper combination that gives the spray its sting. Danielle Rein, a Damsel in Defense consultant, said many pepper spray bottles contain only 12 percent OC, making the Damsel in Defense spray more potent than a generic bottle. “I’ve been thinking about getting some type of protection,” Snow said. “Now I feel more secure.”

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