I agree with MagnumWill. Any kind of aerosol dispersant has the potential to blow back into the user's face. And if used in a confined area the risk of injury to the user goes up dramatically. And a "confined area" can be as much as spraying your attacker while they are quite close to you.
Tazers and Stun Guns are more user-safe. I would probably recommend a stun gun. Contrary to what the name implies, stun guns are the kind that DON'T shoot. Tazers fire two small prongs with electric cables, stun guns have to be pressed against your attacker. In all probability your wife and daughter are more likely to be ambushed, than to see their attackers coming from a distance. This makes the close-quarters stun gun a preferable option.
They make a huge array of these things and many of them are disguised to look like every day items like a smart phone so that you can carry them in the open with out arousing alarm.
I might also suggest getting them interested in firearms. It's not about being cool or having fun, it's about having the ability to save your life. I'm not "interested" in seat belts but I wear one when I'm in the car.
Your 9mm could, and in all likelihood will expand. But my .45 will never get any smaller.
Last edited by abherbitter; March 25, 2013 at 10:04 AM.
Reason: Post Script