In recent days, the internet has been actively discussing women’s safety when they’re walking home alone in a shady neighborhood. Bored Panda has already covered some of the stories arising from these discussions, like 6 tips for men to help women feel safer in public, this hand signal indicating you’re in danger, and this viral response to Sarah Everard’s murder.

Well, this TikToker joined the conversation by sharing how to properly pull off the key self-defense technique in light of the many people who were sharing how they rely on it.

More Info: TikTok Pt. 1 | TikTok Pt. 2

No doubt you have heard of a self defense technique whereby you hold keys in your fist between the fingers

Image credits: @faesfx

TikTok user and make-up artist Fae (@faesfx), with whom Bored Panda got in touch, has recently shared a video about the right way of defending yourself with a set of keys in your hand.

For those wondering, this technique involves a person holding a key (or a set of keys) in their hands to be used as a weapon against a potential attacker who might sneak up from behind.

Now, some people were told to hold the keys between their fingers, extending outward, similarly to how Wolverine from the X-Men has his claws facing outward.

Well, this TikToker explains that, though a prevalent method, it might end up hurting you

Image credits: @faesfx

However, Fae explained that this way is only kinda effective, if at all, depending on the situation. If it is effective, it’s only so for one punch, as the keys will likely end up bending backward in your hands and possibly hurting you.

Also, there’s a chance that the attacker will sneak up from behind, making it impossible to land a hit with the keys at all, as seen in the TikTok video.

You see, when you punch the attacker, the keys might bend upward and hurt your hand

Image credits: @faesfx

However, she suggested switching up the way you hold the keys. Instead of doing the Wolverine, she says it’s better to take your longest key and clench it in your fist—like you would normally hold a stick. Fae called this the “hammer” method. This way, you will then be able to ensure the key’s stability, all the while also retaining reachability.

The TikToker also exemplifies how holding the key in this position works—if someone was to sneak up from behind, the victim would be able to extend their arms to stab them in the leg, or if they’re lucky, in the more sensitive areas of the attacker.

Instead, she suggests using what she calls the ‘hammer’ method

Image credits: @faesfx

Fae cannot recall where she learned this tactic, or how she ended up relearning it—“I don’t know where that came from or who first told me but from what I gather it is the norm for people to be told this.” However, it was only natural for her to speak about the right way when she saw some people doing it wrongly.

Since then, the video went viral on TikTok, garnering over 2.2 million views with over 530,000 likes and 17,000 shares. Many people found this bit of advice very useful, though also pointing out they wished it was never even a necessity in the first place.

If you simply clench up a key in your hand as shown below, it won’t wobble and be more effective

Image credits: @faesfx

Others also one-upped the self-defense hack by suggesting using a different key than the one they would need to enter their car or home, like an old unused key. You know, because you’re gonna need it and if it gets somehow stuck in the attacker and he flees, well… you know the rest.

As you might have figured, both Fae and her friend Charly were surprised the video took off: “We’re definitely surprised, a little bit annoyed with myself for not checking if I used the same hold on her, but I thought it would be seen by 100 people max. So, even though the information is there. The demonstration on the first video is unfortunately terrible. My lovely model Charly is feeling the same way, happy for all the positive comments, but regretting we didn’t carry out the demonstration properly.”

Fae also shows this in action with the help of her friend Charly

Image credits: @faesfx

The now-viral TikToker also posted a follow-up video, thanking viewers and also encouraging people to not use things like knives or chemicals, especially in countries that forbid their use. And we can’t stress this enough because the point of this tactic is to increase your chances of fleeing, not to seriously hurt the attacker:

“The thing to remember is you aren’t settling in to fight your attacker, you are doing what you can to get away, the second you are free to run, you run.” If you continue, the attacker might overwhelm you in the end, or there might be legal repercussions for the victim as well.

Keep in mind that this tactic shouldn’t be used with knives or similar weapons—the point is to give yourself a chance to escape, not seriously hurt the attacker

Image credits: @faesfx

In the second video, Fae elaborated on the key technique by showing another possible hold that an attacker might assume and how the same trick might help. You can see her actually getting a tad bit hurt when her friend overshoots the pretend stab.

She also pointed out that if this was real life, the victim would quite likely be kicking and screaming, kicking the head back in hopes of seriously hurting the attacker.

If you’re lucky, you might end up hitting not just the leg, but also some more delicate parts

Image credits: @faesfx

“In the UK, we have an issue with knife crime and it is illegal to carry,” explained Fae. “Unfortunately, there are strict laws over here with regards to self defence tools, there are very few things that can be used without being classed as an offensive weapon (Prevention of Crime Act 1953 details what is classed as an offensive weapon) so if you don’t have a longer key you can use the smaller house key in the similar position, it might not be as effective but in the moment it is all about doing what you can to get away from your attacker, not to seriously harm them.”

Check out the original and follow up videos below

@faesfxStay safe ##fyp ##saraheverard ##reclaimthesestreets♬ original sound – Hevs

@faesfxBe mindful of what is legal in your country. Model @charlymarion12 ##reclaimthesestreets ##fyp ##saraheverard♬ original sound – Hevs

What are your thoughts on this? Do you have any tips on how to effectively fend off an attacker in public? Let us know in the comment section below!