I have been thinking lately of ways that I can keep myself safe that involves teaching the bad guys their free ride is coming to an end. I thought of a gun but knowing me, by the time one day is through there shall be a slew of bodies across the East African continent.
Munange, I know myself!
So I decided to consider pepper spray. I hear it’s small, efficient and the bad guys never carry it. It ain’t gangsta’ enough for them.
I believe in research and covering all my bases. Can I get pepper spray? Where’s the best place to get it? Is there a police or security centre where women can be trained to use pepper spray properly?
Oh wait. Police. Of course! So I called the general line of the Central Police Station.
“Good morning officer”, I told the gentleman who picked up the phone. “I’d like to know if it’s legal for me to own pepper spray for my protection, and where I can get it if-”
I was interrupted as he yelled at me.
“Pepper spray is for police only! You are not supposed to own it! It is only for police!”
Eh. Was the aggression neccessary? I let it go and decided to have a chat with him as a human being instead.
“But I’d like to do more than run or scream when I’m in danger. Surely you know the statistics of violence against women. I hope you can understand my wanting to be safe?”
“I have told you,” he repeated. “It’s only for police!”
I waited for him to point me to the legal document or phrase in a police act that says this but it seems the concrete information I needed was to remain an illusion.
“Alright,” I told him. “So I should like, use my fingernails as a weapon?”
“I have better things to do than discuss this!”, he yelled. And then he hung up.
What sort of human was this? I’m using proper channels to ask you about how I can protect myself and not only do you not care, you tell me you’ve got better things to do than give me the time of day? Does the Central Police Station have a list of what’s important and women’s safety is not on it?
And then you hung up on me?
Reader, I called this funny guy right back
“Are you the officer who just hung the phone up on me?” I asked. My tone no longer held an iota of friendliness.
“Madam!” he shouted again. “Do you think what will happen if they take the pepper spray from you? You shall also put yourself in danger!”
“That’s not what I’m asking”, I said. “I’m asking if it’s legal. I’d rather have the spray than nothing at all any more”.
“No!”, he shouted. “You’re not allowed to use pepper spray. Don’t you have a knife?”
“Don’t I have a WHAT?”, I exclaimed.
“Go to your kitchen and get a knife and move with that!” he finished.
What kind of officer tells a woman pepper spray can be taken from her to hurt her then advises her to use a knife that will be guaranteed to kill her if it’s taken from her hands? What kind of police officer tells ANYONE to move with a knife and risk arrest that I would totally understand if caught with it in bag searches?
This joker was not finished: “Go to your nearest police station and ask if you’re allowed to have pepper spray!”.
How can a Central Police Station tell me to go to a lower hierachy police post like they don’t have the answers themselves? You think I called your number because I enjoy dialling your unhelpful digits?
I know and have worked with lots of great police men but these others are really working overtime to kill their good work. Please do not verbally offend and waste the time of concerned citizens who call you for help.
Move with a knife indeed