One of our members just retired from the NYPD; he used to handle domestic disputes. He HAS been attacked shomenuchi; the woman had a frying pan.
Anyway, what I get out of defending against shomenuchi is timing my irimi just right. The timing is not always perfect, but that's why I practice.
And Arthur, what made you stop after you started at 12?
P.S. There's a free class coming up in your area on the 17th;
follow this link - http://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/lss/273684630.html