Your pepper spray can’t help you in your purse.
Knowing that you have a weapon to defend yourself may give you more confidence, but in all actuality it’s not going to help you if you need to dig through your day planner, lip gloss and Mentos in order to find it. You can’t exactly be like, “Wait, Mr. Mugger. Let me get my mace real quick.” If you know you’ll be walking home alone put your pepper spray in your pocket and make other defenses quickly accessible. Get your keys out your purse while you’re in the store before heading into a dark parking lot to try to lessen your time outside alone as much as possible.