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Your Tewksbury Today

Tewksbury Woman Using Damsel-In-Defense To Help Women Be Safer

Feb 03, 2015 09:01AM ● By Bill Gilman

Walking from your car to your door.

Walking from your office to your car.

Carrying bags of groceries.

Taking a brisk walk around your neighborhood.

The realities of life for a woman in American society have gotten to the point that doing even the most mundane things have become dangerous.

While police departments do their best they can to keep women safe, they can’t be everywhere all the time. Women are encouraged to take steps to keep themselves safe, including self-defense courses such as the R.A.D. program offered through the Tewksbury Police Department.

It was in that spirit that 12 months ago, LaShanta Magnusson of Tewksbury became a consultant for Damsel in Defense, a company that markets a large line of self-defense tools and education for women, children and even men.

“Two stay-at-home moms thought up Damsel In Defense,” said Magnusson. “Their mission is to empower women, not only by giving them the tools but also the education to fight back!”

Magnusson said she was shocked to learn the latest studies show that 1-in-5 women will, at some point, be sexually assaulted.

“I’ve always been involved in direct sales. But this is more than selling,” she said. ‘It’s giving women their voice to fight back. Especially for women trapped in domestic violence situations, giving them the strength to fight back or leave.”

Damsel in Defense does not carry guns or other deadly weapons. But they do carry a variety of non-lethal weapons that can do a lot of damage, including pepper spray, kubatons and other striking tools, personal alarms and simple home alarm devices.

Due to legislation passed last summer, it’s legal to carry pepper spray in Massachusetts but its not legal to ship to Massachusetts. This presents minor problems for Mangusson but not problems that prevent her from making deliveries to customers looking for pepper spray.

Damsel in Defense also sells stun guns. However, stun guns are presently still illegal to carry in Massachusetts.

DID has products geared specifically for men and for children and has recently expanded to included protection from cyber crime, including identity theft and credit card theft.

“Damsel isn’t just about self-defense. It’s about protection in all parts of your life,” said Magnusson.

For Magnusson, the biggest part of Damsel In Defense is education. She said she enjoys working with community groups and not only telling them about the DID products but also sharing with them the lessons she has been taught about common sense techniques to stay safe.

“I’ve been working with a karate instructor out of New Hampshire and I’ve been working closely with a company in Lawrence that helps women who have been in domestic abuse situations, giving them the tools to fight back so that it doesn’t happen again,” she said. “Along the way I’ve learned a lot about things I’m doing in my own life on a regular basis that just aren't safe.”

For more information on Damsel in Distress, log onto

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