I was having a chat with my postal-person friend yesterday about situational awareness. In case you're not familiar with the term, it's pretty much what it sounds like - being aware in whatever situation you're in, particularly when the situation has become hazardous to your health (i.e. someone has come to assault you, rob you, or rape you.) She's alone in a rural post office all day - one that has been robbed before, albeit at night when she wasn't there. And this post office is about 3 miles from the little country store that was robbed at knifepoint last year.
Anyway, I was talking about making sure that wherever you are, you should always be aware of the things within reach that can be used to defend yourself - provided you aren't already carrying a gun somewhere on your person. In seconds, I pointed out the things right there at the postal counter she could use - including a hefty-looking metal postal scale. And she thanked me.
I also showed her my pepper spray and told her she needed to at least get one of those. I carry mine everywhere. 99% of the time, it's in my pants pocket. The other one percent, it's in the front pocket of my purse (because I'm wearing pants without pockets).
I also carry my keys in my pocket. Keys can be an excellent way to defend yourself. Put the biggest one sticking out from between your finger and you can either stab at someone who's attacking you or slash at them. My key fob also has a button on it that sets off a really loud, annoying alarm in my car which could attract the attention of others. (Provided they don't ignore it the way most of us ignore car alarms these days.)
When I'm out at the lake, by myself and a long way from most other humans, I also have the knife in my tackle box. If I can't reach that, I have my fishing pole which I could beat someone with. And that's gonna hurt. Barring that, there are a lot of rocks just the right size for grasping in my hand and hitting someone with. Hell, if I have to, they're getting a bobber to the eye. (I use the pointy stick-like bobber, not the round ones.)
I also have my cell phone, but that's less about defense than calling for assistance. Which could take a while out here, and which I hope I have time and signal enough to use at any given time.
Running is good, but with this bum leg, I can't really use that as an option. It walks fine, but running? Nope. The best I can manage is a kind of weird hop/run thing. It ain't fast enough to get away from any attacker.
I may not survive the encounter because all of these things are fairly non-lethal and only stopgaps, but I hope they're enough to give my attacker pause. One thing's for sure, I won't be going down without a fight.
And since this is a writing blog, thinking about situational awareness is good for your characters. Joan Wilder used her attacker's own cigar against him and a stick to beat him off. Think about it.
Anyway, what kinds of weapons do you have within your immediate grasp right now? For me, I have scissors, pens/pencils, a really heavy ashtray, a paper weight, my stapler, and depending on the time, I might have a lit cigarette. I used to have a letter opener... I wonder what the hell happened to that...