As I wrote 2 days ago, there are no “rules of engagement” for self-defense.
Once you begin fighting back physically, keep going until you’ve cleared your escape. You can think of this as fighting until your assailant is either on the ground, stunned, or running away (do NOT run after them). In most cases, this is 1 or 2, up to about 5, good techniques. Do NOT pause in the middle – you would be giving your assailant the time they need to recoup and remount their own attack. Stay in motion. Keep at least one of your weapons (hands/feet/elbows/knees) on the assailant at all times.
Take their balance. If the assailant is off-balance, they will have difficulty continuing their attack. Remember to find where their “kangaroo tail*” or “third leg*” should be. Use your hip check* to send them downwards into that point.
You will be too close for your comfort. Most likely you will want to get FAR AWAY from the creep. Yet in a fight you will very likely be in hugging distance. Yes, that is where you want to be, and it will be unsettling. This proximity will give you your best position to fight back effectively.
Practice you physical moves so that they are smooth and reflexive.
And remember that all the smooth moves in the world are useless if your brain is denying that somebody is in the process of harming you.
*Learn how to do these and more in Strategic Living’s self-defense classes for women.