For past 30+ years we kept a pair of S&W model 12-2 with 4" skinny barrel in the house for my wife. One is in the bedroom and the second one is in another easily accessable place in the house. Both revolvers are stored in a safe with electronic lock that requires pushing couple buttons in a sequence.
Both are loaded with 148gr button nose wadcutters doing 750 fps out of them. It's a very mild load and my wife shoots it well. Before you laugh at the load, let me tell you that that combo put down a very aggressive 80lb. GSD/mutt with one shot to the back of the shoulder. Second shot to the head ended his suffering.
She also has a Stevens SxS 20 gauge with the barrel cut back to 20". It's kept in the bedroom closet and hung where small children can not get to it.
BTW all my kids are older now but we taught them to shoot when they were about 5 y/o and were out hunting with dad or grandpa when they reach around 9 y/o.