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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Marcus father/daughter duo empowers local women through specialized self-defense products

Friday, February 1, 2013

June Pallesen, a Damsel in Defense Independent Pro, shows off women's self-defense items during a recent Storm Lake show. / Dana Larsen
Through a unique business venture, a Marcus father/daughter team is helping enable local women to protect themselves and their children.

As Independent Pros for the last four months through Damsel in Defense, a security-on-the-go company founded September 2011, June and Gerald Pallesen offer a variety of legal, non-deadly defense tools for individuals over 18.

"I fell in love with the company, and the way it empowers women to defend and protect themselves," June said.

Products available include pepper sprays, stun guns, keychain defense devices and personal alarms. Some are disguised, such as stun guns shaped like cell phones or lipstick tubes.

Damsel in Defense's stun guns use high voltage and low amperage, temporarily disabling an attacker's muscular system, while its pepper sprays pack a two million Scoville Heat Unit punch.

The company's pepper sprays are the hottest and most powerful available worldwide, and will disable an assailant for 15-60 minutes while causing temporary blindness, inflammation of breathing tissue and intense burning sensations on skin.

National statistics compiled by Damsel in Defense's corporate office indicate one in five women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime, with college-aged women four times more likely to be attacked. Every two seconds, a woman in the U.S. is sexually assaulted, with aggravated assaults occuring every 35 seconds.

"This is not the same world we grew up in," June said. "It's really important for women to be able to have the tools to defend themselves in a non-lethal way."

Although products are visually designed to appeal to women, June said she sells "quite a few" items in basic black to men.

She regular attends vendor-style sales opportunities in an effort to reach the largest audience in the smallest amount of time.

"Most people have never heard of us (Damsel in Defense) before," she explained. "The two biggest responses are 'Wow, that's so cool,' and 'Are products legal to carry in Iowa?'"

Stun guns and pepper spray are legal throughout the state, with the exception of Denison and Crawford Counties, who prohibit use of stun guns.

Pallesen's Damsel in Defense will next be at the Hawkeye Rifle and Pistol Club's gun show at the Sergeant Bluffs Family Center Feb. 3-5.

Learn more about the self-defense items by visiting facebook.com/PallesenDamsel.

Products are available for purchase through mydamselpro.net/pallesen.