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Women Share What They Carry To Protect Themselves While Running

Hundreds of women have taken part in a conversation about the lengths they go to in order to protect themselves while exercising in public.

The topic was raised on Twitter by U.S. writer Amanda Deibert after she noticed women in an online mother's group giving each other suggestions.

"One of my mom groups has a thread that is just women listening and recommending which kind of protection they take when they go out running," the post read.

"(Ie. pepper spray, alarm necklaces, whistles, etc) in case you wondered what being a woman is like."

Deibert then asked her followers what they use for protection while running, prompting a wide range of responses and anecdotes about staying safe in public, running or otherwise.

From rape whistles to knives, many answers were quite extreme and in many cases would even be illegal to carry in Australia while on the street -- multiple women said they concealed a small gun on their person.

Small weaponised gadgets attached to keys or bags were a common solution, including a small, cat-shaped keychain which doubles as brass knuckles.

The product, commonly known as a "stabby kitty", has become popular among American women for self-defence, despite a recent controversy around their legality.

Only yesterday did Texas lawmakers pass a new bill to make carrying brass knuckles legal in the state, including the feminine keychain.

In a state where openly carrying rifles, handguns and knives was already legal, many were outraged women could face up to a year in jail or a US$4,000 fine for carrying a specially designed self-defence weapon.

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Other purpose-built methods included a small device which clips on to clothing and when pulled, emits a loud alarm, and pepper gel which straps onto one's hand -- part of a "runners series" of protective weapons.

Two women even shared pictures of key-shaped switch blades.

Images: @taylorswede

Outside of weapons -- though in keeping with the pet theme -- dogs were the most common protection women employed, with many saying they refuse to go running without one.

When it comes to self-defence in Australia, the laws regarding many of these instruments vary from state to state.

For example, it is illegal to carry pepper spray for self-defence in every state except Western Australia, where the grounds for having a "lawful excuse" to carry it still present a rather grey area.

Knuckle dusters are not prohibited in the country.