That's a truly horrible story, and I hope that you and your wife are recovering from this incident. Take comfort in knowing that your wife's brave actions kept it from perhaps being a lot worse.
In a previous business I spent considerable time dealing with law enforcement, and the stories I've heard would make most people very afraid, because most people are decent and see others as like themselves. They can't comprehend what criminals are really like, and what they are willing to do to their victims with little or no provocation.
The one advice I can give folks, besides 'get insurance' (which is good advice), is that unfortunately in today's world we have to worry about things like home invasions. From the story above, it appears that either the back door wasn't locked, or if it was defeating the lock was easy and quiet. In order to be secure in your house, you MUST make it difficult for anyone to get in without alerting you and giving you time to react. The first rule is to ALWAYS keep your doors locked... ALWAYS! Ensure that your doors are stout enough so that it will take more than one kick to get them open, so you have time. Most bad guys aren't looking to make a lot of noise, or to alert folks. If a door looks solid and it's locked, they'll move on.
Making it impossible for someone to get into your house without considerable effort and noise is the single best thing you can do to protect yourself at home. Think about it: what good will a gun do if you wake up because a criminal has just grabbed you by the throat? (I'm a believer in law-abiding folks owning a gun for self-defense, but guns are only part of a successful self-defense strategy and will do you little to no good if the bad guy can walk up to you in your bed while you are asleep -- if your only chance for survival is to somehow get to your gun at this point, you are in dire straits indeed.)
Every exterior door should be solid, with deadbolts that go deep into the doorjambs. Put peepholes in your doors, and don't open up the door to people you don't recognize. If you live in the country and the police won't respond for a while, consider getting a dog to alert you... and some sort of self-defense weapon. Many people put a solid, exterior-grade door with deadbolt on their bedroom door, or if they have kids they separate the sleeping area of the house with such a door. Keep your cellphone in your bedroom; a criminal can disable your landline phone by merely taking the phone in the kitchen off-hook (try it and see how you can no longer make a call on an extension), or pulling the wires out at the outside junction box. If you're not comfortable with a gun, get pepper spray (get it even if you are comfortable, because you can use it in situations where you can't use a gun). If you do own a gun, make the effort to understand the law and when you can and cannot use that gun legally. And, take a class... having a gun no more makes you armed than having a camera makes you a skilled photographer.
If, having taken these precautions, someone breaks into your house, you will hear them. The people who break into houses when they know the residents are inside are the most dangerous criminals. Your strategy should be to ensure your family is behind that strong locked door (in your bedroom or between sleeping and living areas), and call the police. If the criminals insist on breaking that door down and entering your safe area... well, that's why you have the gun. DON'T go out looking for them... that gives the advantage to the bad guys. Your insurance will cover lost property. Your goal is to ensure that your family stays safe.