I took kung fu classes while in college. The instructor always reminded us that the first rule of self defense is to run away. All the rest is for just in case we can't run away, in which case we need to make it possible to be able to get away.
That is the reality.
The few stories I have seen about a woman who was trained in anything actually having to use it, was actually just a "lash out and run". It doesn't require any training really. I heard a Krav Maga instruction asked about such things and he stated he showed a woman a few things (I think it was what to do to make someone let go or something basic), and it was basically an eye gouge of some sort. No technique or mechanics, just a simple thing. That woman was later assaulted and she used what she learned and got away.
People in the "martial arts" usually engage in excessive fantasy. They have "what if" scenarios, and contrived situations where one has to stick around and duke it out, just so they can justify the "art".
The reality is that they are sports, a way to use the body, and sometimes art, like dance. Actual physical confrontation is different. It is not technique or mechanics or honour. It is a simple confrontation. One person (or both) is willing to hurt another and the other has to react, or better yet, avoid the situation. That is a very short simple thing in almost all cases.
Too many people go into classes thinking about how to win a fight against someone larger in a dark alley, but the actual defense is: do not go into the dark alley.
The truth is that the average man can easily physically confront the average woman. If the man is willing, then avoidance and escape is the only response. Trying to have an actual fight will result in murder or greater physical harm in most cases.
The same applies for men as well, in actual need, one doesn't really have any hope of a good outcome of "fighting".