By Shikema Dey
In observance of International Women’s Day 2022, the News Room recognises 23-year-old Gavrielle Cave, the mind behind Salutem Self Defence Keychains and Accessories, a venture created after her mother was robbed of her vehicle at gunpoint in front of the Georgetown Public Hospital over a year and a half ago.
The ordeal left Gavrielle shaken to the point where she would not leave her home at night, scared that the same could happen to her. But after scrolling TikTok one day, she saw the concept and decided to capitalize on the market to give power to women all across Guyana so that they would not fear walking the streets alone.
She told the News Room recently that following her mother’s ordeal, she became scared to walk alone, even in broad daylight because she lost her “sense of safety.”
But a few months down the line, Gavrielle reclaimed it with the launch of her business.
“I feel as though there needs to be something for women, for anyone to have some sense of safety, the sense of safety I lost when my mom was attacked.
“Women need that security because what happens when there is no one there with us? What happens when we need it the most? And this is what sparked my inspiration to create Salutem,” she shared.
The small business offers a wide array of self-defence accessories; a personal favourite of Gavrielle is the “personal alarm.”
“I think that they are super cool and they come in a variety of colours and doubles as a flashlight.
“When you pull the little stub, it goes off pretty loudly, so if you are alone, it can alert somebody that you are in danger…without continuous use, the battery would last for about between 17 and 24 hours,” she explained.
The customizable keychains also come with another flashlight, hand sanitiser, a concealed penknife, no-touch openers, and also window breakers.
“This is another personal favourite of mine. So let us say the situation is that you are trapped in a car and the person is not letting you out, you are being held against your own will…you can use this to break the window.
“You just hold it at the bottom, apply pressure and you can break a window and escape and it can work on a car window, a window in a house, any glass.”
Though the business has only been in operation for a few months, Gavrielle said the support thus far has been “overwhelming.”
“I have a colleague that I went to high school with and she works in the mining industry, so she is in and out of the interior. And she mentioned to me once, sometimes, the men, they drink and get out of character; she said that somebody grabbed her hand and he was not letting her go and she had to make use of one of the accessories just to be safe,” she shared.
And though she was saddened that her client was placed in that position, Gavrielle said she was proud to help another woman feel safe in her surroundings.
“I felt so proud, I felt like I was contributing to some sort of change because I will be working at GPHC very soon, and sometimes we have to work late, sometimes we are alone, walking by ourselves.
“And you do not always feel 100% safe, so you want to feel some sort of reassurance that you know, even you are alone, you can still protect yourself,” she stated.
Interested persons can contact Gavrielle on TikTok using the handle Salutem Self Defence.