It’s a bra that comes with a life-saving boost.
A year ago, mother-of-two Jennifer Cutrona was off running on her favorite trail near her home in Texas – earbuds in and her mind focused on an upcoming marathon – when a man suddenly leapt out from the woods and tried to grab her.
“I got away from the guy, but was extremely upset at how oblivious I had been to this possibility,” Cutrona told FoxNews.com. “I did not want to listen to anyone who would try to scare me from being free to run my favorite spots.”
"I was not trying to come up with something that would kill. Just something that would give me a few seconds to get away.”
The incident inspired Cutrona to think about the need for women to be fully prepared, even when dressed down for a run. Soon after, “Booby Trap Bras” was born – a line of sports bras made with self-defense in mind.
“The little pocket knives I had collected over the years were all at home in the drawer with my pepper spray. I needed something I could pull in less than a second,” Cutrona said. “I sewed a knife sheath into the layers of my sports bra. I put it back on and realized it worked wonderfully. My confidence was back. I was not trying to come up with something that would kill. Just something that would give me a few seconds to get away.”
Cutrona’s now-patented creations are advertised with the motto “Stay safe. Stay active.” They provide a means to securely store – yet easily access – a small knife or pepper spray for protection.
According to Dom Raso, former Navy SEAL and founder of defense and weapons training company Dynamis Alliance, women are wise to be prepared for the worst.
“You can do all the research and data collection you want and you will find real quick that a life-threatening scenario can unfold at the blink of an eye and when you least expect it,” he said. “Especially for women – criminals are becoming more violent and more risky with their actions.”
The “Just In Case Knife Bra” which retails for $55, features a knife sheath made from nylon neoprene built into its layers. Cutrona’s company also offers the “Just In Case Pepper Spray Bra” for $50 and unisex compression sleeves for $25 intended to hold anything from a phone and credit cards to keys and knives. The product line has been a hit, with Cutrona claiming that she has sold out of every production run to date. She is planning a new collection for men.
“My message is not to live in fear. It is to wear something on you just in case. This will most likely never happen to me again,” Cutrona continued. “I am not paranoid. I feel great. If I get approached again, however, I will be prepared.”
Sal LaBarbera, a recently retired longtime LAPD homicide investigator cautioned that users should check their state and city laws regarding the carrying of a concealed knife, and said the product comes with limitations.
“A product like this could only be used in the extreme case of a close physical encounter with someone meaning to do harm,” LaBarbera said. “I wouldn't want this product to give a person a false sense of security.”
La Barbera recommends travelling in pairs, and in known surroundings.
Howard Mallen, co-founder and CEO of Krav Maga Worldwide, who teaches the popular self-defense technique developed by the Israel Defense Forces, said women should augment products like Cutrona’s with training.
"The risk of being attacked is increased when your attention is being diverted, you're alone, and/or your senses are impaired. Jogging or running is a perfect example of this,” Mallen said. “Typically, runners have music blasting in their ears and jog by areas that can serve as hiding places for would be attackers.”