hawk, that was scary; good thing your mom was ok.
I agree with what was said before. if you can convince her, it is time to carry something... like a reliable j-frame wheelgun.
i like the kimber lifeact gizmo. it offers some standoff distance when you use it. I also back it up with some conventional mace spray.
a blade, sharp and easy to use (i.e., open, keeps an edge, etc) for close in work. although, it requires a certain mindset to use it to defend yourself. visit the sayok kali website.
not familiar with the tasers but there are ones currently marketed for use for women like the C2. I don't know how reliable or how well they work. conceptually it seems like a good idea. it is on the expensive though, for the price one can buy a j-frame taurus already stoked with .38 +p HPs.
finally, always have a functioning cell phone. good luck. be safe out there.