One technique she was taught was to take her keys and use them as claws to get away from an attacker
- Do they really still teach this rubbish?? NO!! - she's more likely to break her own fingers than have any effect on her attacker - if you're going to use a weapon, get a proper one and learn how to use it.
On the subject of violence, as an aikifruity I have to say (as in previous threads) that good intentions in your heart does not equal non-violent. It is your actions (and their results) that determine whether it's violent or not and this determination is to be made by a third party/society not you. Aikido is a martial art, therefore it is violent. You are attempting to minimise that violence, but it's still violent.
Why do I suggest a third party for the definition? Let's take some ridiculous extremes. Most sociopaths don't consider what they do to be wrong as you don't really exist. A zealot (of any stripe) killing in the name of their religion is not wrong, it's defending the faith. Killing someone can improve their karma at risk to yourself (paraphrased from this site). If these nuts are not allowed to be adequate judges of their own actions, what gives the "love in my heart" while I break something bunch the right to judge themselves...