September 28 2016
After a string of attacks on women runners in the news, Run Far Girl found a safety clinic to find out if what she wears affects her safety.
Runners who are seeking something a bit more “aggressive” than handheld pepper spray will feel extra safe with the TigerLady device, which gets its name from the sharp, feline-like claws that extend out with a squeeze of the hand. These claws contain grooves at the bottom, which capture DNA from an assailant, making it possible for a woman to defend herself, get away and produce evidence to find her attacker. According to the company’s press release, “you don’t need to see him to ID him.”
The device is modeled after a cat’s retractable claws, highlighting the most primal of protective movements: scratching. Since it is portable and weighs less than 2 ounces, TigerLady can fit inside almost anything, including a pocket. Women do not need any training in order to own and operate the device since it requires no strength or special skill to use. And, although TigerLady is non-lethal, it is effective and requires no strength, skill or training–once TigerLady is in your hand, it is always ready.
Related: 8 Tips for Running Safely At Night
Of course, safety is a top priority for the creators of TigerLady. The first basic design was originally patented in 1978 by Al Levine, and over the course of three generations, the Levine family crafted and perfected the device. They deemed it ready in spring 2015. According to Jeff Levine, co-founder of TigerLady, the company seeks to provide women with a means of feeling confident and safe. His son, Evan, also a co-founder of TigerLady, added that he wants women to have a means of fighting back against attackers who might underestimate their abilities and the ferocity with which they’ll fight back.
“We want women to feel safe and in control in every situation,” says Jeff Levine. “Holding this device will help a woman feel confident and more aware of her surroundings.”
Related: A Runner’s Survival Story
In addition to its device, the company prides itself on crafting the product completely in the United States. It does this by employing retired veterans in order to put the device together. The product sells for $36 on the company website, and proceeds from each purchase will be given to a non-profit that will be chosen at the end of this fiscal year. The recipient has been narrowed down to four organizations, and each is dedicated to fighting various forms violence against women, including sexual assault, domestic violence, and crimes of opportunity.