I would recommend the book "Why Does He Do That?" by Lundy Bancroft as well as the "Gift of Fear". It provides a detailed understanding of the thought processes of perpetrators of domestic violence.
With respect to the last scenario you described (the one with Ida), your response as a woman was perfectly valid. You didn't need to stop the guy, just needed to stall him long enough for the police to arrive. You also were concerned with the well-being of the elderly and the target of the violence. These are very different responses than a man would have had in the same situation, imo.
The perpetrator was perfectly in control of his rage (as evidenced by his sudden calm demeanor when the police arrived). He had conditioned the woman to respond to his "rages" with compliance. In his mind, the target was the one who escalated the issue by going to seek help from you. (She likely had a "hunch" that this time was different and she was in serious danger).
Being a by-stander in this sort of situation can sometimes be dangerous. But often the perpetrator is aware that he doesn't want to be caught and also that he can always punish his target later when there are no witnesses.
You probably saved the target from serious physical harm by intervening the way you did. In that respect, the confrontation with this man was successful. No one was hurt, the police intervened, and hopefully the target was able to access services which helped her escape from this potentially fatal domestic violence situation.
Just a little about me: I am a martial artist and MA instructor, a self-defense instructor and a novelist.
I'm still not exactly clear what your crit groups saw as the problem with your character or her actions. Maybe you can clarify their specific responses.