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by Brittany Yap, associate editor


With these kinds of statistics, it is important for women to have a plan, in case they are attacked. On Aug. 23, a man tried to sexually assault a 72-year-old woman on Maui but the woman activated her personal alarm and its piercing noise sent the assailant fleeing.

People can buy personal alarms for $8.89 at Radio Shack. Ala Moana Radio Shack’s Manager-in-Training, Joe Mesa, said that the personal alarms are egg-shaped and come only in blue. Radio Shack carries the 140-decibel alarm on a key chain that fits in the palm of your hand. It is activated by pulling out a pin. According to Mesa, the personal alarm is louder than a car alarm, which is about 120 decibels. The high-pitched sound is suppose to surprise and scare off attackers as it attracts the attention of passersby.

“ I feel safer having my alarm with me,” said college student, Shauna Suzuki, 21. “However, I don’t always carry it around with me.”

Suzuki’s aunty gave her the personal alarm a month ago, the same as the one found at Radio Shack. She only carries her alarm at night, when she goes out, she said, because the alarm goes off accidentally at times.

“ It’s embarrassing when it goes off,” said Suzuki. “The pin comes out too easily.”
Despite feeling safer having the personal alarm with her at night, Suzuki said she expected the alarm to be louder and higher pitched.

The alarm can be used anywhere you go, at school, in the workplace, and when you are traveling. This self-defense mechanism is very efficient and cannot be used against you as can guns, knives, and other weapons. It can be used by anyone, regardless of age or physical condition, and does not require any training or permits to use.

According to Radio Shack’s Director of Advertising and Marketing Peter Tabilang, sales have gone up ever since the incident on Maui back in August. Maui sells out every week, and on O‘ahu and other islands, sales have increased about 25 percent since the incident.

“ Maui was all out [of personal alarms] the weeks that followed the attack,” said Tabilang. “All three stores on Maui continue to sell out, and we keep replenishing them as quickly as possible.”

HPU nursing student, Fetia Solomon, got her personal alarm when she was in elementary school.
“ My mom ordered me the alarm through SHOPO (State of Hawai‘i Organization of Police Officers),” said Solomon. “She felt that I needed it because I would walk to and from school, and the school was about two miles from my house.”

Unlike alarms today, Solomon’s personal alarm cost more than $100. It was all black and looked like a beeper, and was much bigger than the egg-shaped one sold at Radio Shack. Solomon stopped using it when her mother started driving her to school.

“ The alarm that I had was a lot louder than the ones sold in stores today,” said Solomon.
Obviously some improvements could be made to the personal alarms sold at Radio Shack, but $8.89 is reasonable. There are many different-looking personal alarms out there for sale. If you want to check out more options, the Internet is the best way. Punch in “personal alarms” on Yahoo, for alarms that range from $8 to over $100, depending on what you are looking for and how loud you want the decibels to be.


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