On Her Own


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Losing on your own terms

All of us come to the personal safety and self-defense world for different reasons. Some of us have been targeted by violence, or know someone who has. Some of us have seen it first-hand or in the news. Some of us came to be interested more academically, knowing it exists in theory but perhaps not

Why it’s good to be a news junkie

As I have some things going on in OHO-land, we’re rerunning today. If you’ve been with me long enough to remember this post from two years ago, thank you! And if not, I’m glad you joined me in the meantime 🙂—How many of you check in on your local news on a regular basis? I’m

The Alpinist

Mountain climbers fascinate me, especially solo climbers, who pit themselves against nature with minimal equipment and support. When I watch them climb, I see individuals who face brutal conditions and survive, even thrive and feed off the triumph of overcoming them. They pursue goals that may seem meaningless to many of us, by working their

How your self-defense strategy will fail

On Monday, I encouraged you to challenge yourself when you train for self-defense. The general idea of learning how to solve problems under pressure so that you are resilient against an attacker is an important one, but sometimes it can be difficult to imagine exactly what kinds of issues might come up. Today, we’ll explore

Why you need to prepare to fail

For most of us, preparing for self-defense starts with imagining a particular type of bad guy and attack, and continues with visualizing a specific outcome that we want. It can be as simple as anticipating a nasty remark our nemesis might toss our way one morning and planning the witty and cutting reply we’ll spit

How to be harder to find

Have you ever thought about who can find out where you live, what your phone number is, and other details of your daily existence? For many people, it’s not terribly important who knows these things, as long as nobody gets too creepy about encroaching inappropriately. What that looks like is a little fuzzy to those

How to secure your home when you’re away

When I collect news stories to post on Instagram and Twitter (are you following me there? @onherownlife for both), themes often pop up. Whether it’s the media paying more attention to a certain type of oddball event after they’ve seen it once, me doing the same, or some kind of weird zeitgeist where a kind

The mindset you really need to win a fight

Many of us have some idea in our minds about how we would respond if we were verbally or physically attacked by another person. Often, especially if we are already a few steps into our self-defense journey, we imagine that we will have pithy words for the attacker, and that we will easily and successfully

The power of apology

A video has been floating around this week, of a man who was shot by his neighbor in a parking lot outside their homes. He was being dropped off by a friend and coworker, who had pulled his truck into the neighbor’s assigned parking spot. As his wife came out with their newborn infant to

Safety from without and within

A year ago this week, I published an editorial in the Philadelphia Inquirer that explored how who I am can contribute to my vulnerability to violence and unpleasantness. It’s disturbing to realize that bad things can happen to people who are like us in some way, to us, but it’s even more disturbing when we

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