Mace or pepper spray is your best option for protection as a female.
Most cops will tell you that it isn't wise to engage in a physical confrontation with a male assailant. Also, don't think you can disable a guy with a sharp kick to the nuts. It won't, but will actually serve to anger him more. Mace him and get the hell away.
As for your mother, Kelsey's right. Instead of getting mad when she makes a comment about getting into cars with and/or taking candy from strangers, use the opportunity to show her how responsible you are. Display knowledge and understanding. If she thinks you understand the threats and how to deal with them, she may relax her overprotective muscle.
If that doesn't work...mace her and run!