The Hi-Point Carbine, as someone mentioned before, would be an excellent choice. They are: Lightweight, durable, can be purchased inexpensively, do not require a great deal of maintenance, and are very accurate. Since the are offered in popular pistol calibers up to .45 then plenty of stopping power available, and given the semi auto carbine design, a great combination. I trained my Daughter (she is also petite in stature) with it, with excellent results.
If you are going to advise her, go the extra mile and train her ! Then, you can feel confident she can handle herself in a defensive situation.
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