The TikTok-er listed out her reasons for why the key between fingers strategy doesn't really work and would only end up hurting the woman.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on April 5, 2021. It has since been updated.
Women's safety and, in particular, self-defense have been a topic of discussion since Sarah Everard’s murder. Everard was reportedly killed as she walked home from a friend's place. In light of the discussion surrounding this, a statistic revealed that 97 percent of women had said they had been sexually harassed or assaulted at least once in the past. And in a majority of these crimes, it's always men who are the perpetrators. As the discussion went to self-defense techniques, the most touted one online was the use of keys as a weapon. Many women said they would hold the key in their fists between their fingers and use it to strike back at their attackers. However, a TikTok user and make-up artist, Fae, is now arguing that it may not be the best form of self-defense as you only end up hurting yourself.
The TikTok-er listed out her reasons for why the key between fingers strategy doesn't really work and held a demonstration to prove her point. Fae argued that women would only end up hurting themselves, according to Bored Panda. She also added that the method would only work for the first blow, following which the key would bend backward, hurting them. She also said that the attacker could counter the move by sneaking up from behind, leaving them unable to take a swing. Instead of going "Wolverine", Fae suggested that holding your longest key and clenching it with your fist would do the trick.
She referred to it as the hammer method. She demonstrated that it worked even when the perpetrator sneaked up on you from behind and held you. In the video, her friend Charly demonstrates to her that the victim could extend their arms and stab them on the attacker's leg using the key. It's also suggested you use an old or spare key because there's a good chance you lose the key as the attacker flees.
Fae still can't remember where she learned the technique but it's one of her go-to moves. “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,” said Fae. The TikTok video has since been viewed more than 2.2 million times and garnered over 530,000 likes and 17,000 shares. Fae has been surprised by the video becoming so popular. “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,” added Fae.
“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,” said Fae.
This tactic should not be employed with weapons such as knives because the attacker might be able to get hold of it and attack you. The reason we use the key is to inflict the first blow and to get a chance to escape. Fae also warned users to be aware of the laws in the country. “In the UK, we have an issue with knife crime and it is illegal to carry,” said Fae in a follow-up video. “Unfortunately, there are strict laws over here with regards to self-defense 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, at the moment it is all about doing what you can to get away from your attacker, not to seriously harm them.”