Crimes against women are often "crimes of opportunity". The predator doesn't care if the opportunity presents itself in a major bustling city or in a tiny town with a population of only 400. If he sees prey and nobody else is around, he'll strike-big town, medium town or small town.
Women should take self-defense classes, regardless of their age, weight or height. Just do it. There's more to a high quality self-defense program than learning how to throw a punch, get out of a choke-hold and deliver a kick.
Sometimes, a predator can be frightened away by a woman's eyes and tone of voice. In fact, a predator will "interview" a woman before assaulting her. He wants to first make sure he can overtake her. He won't automatically assume he can simply because he's taller and heavier. He has to qualify her as victim material.
He may do this by asking her for the time, for directions, or just looking at her in a creepy way. Her response, tone of voice and body language will be very telling. Self-defense and martial arts teaches a woman how to display a posture that makes a dangerous man back off.
Sometimes a woman who's trained to fight will get attacked anyways.
It's simple enough, you have to be willing to injure, hurt and harm your attackers. A good self-defense program will include instruction in how to get out of real attacks and how to fight from the ground and even when there is a weapon involved.
Attackers generally don't expect their victims to fight back. So what you do, your response to an attacker in the first few moments of an attack, can very well determine the outcome. Scratching a man's face is a good start, but may anger him rather than scare him, but a solid punch to the throat or a deep gouge to the eyes is better.