I'm so sorry for your experience, Peimei. Unfortunantly, abuse can (and does) come from anyone. It's tragic that case workers who should have known better were too biased to realize the true problem. Just because physical abusers are generally male, doesn't mean that they all are. There are also a lot of other forms of abuse that can be just as harmful too.
Overall, I think that women's shelters do help battered women and children greatly. My friend may not have lived much longer if her mother didn't escape with her and her sister when she did. And I will gladly continue to donate to them and encourage others to do so as well.
I don't donate money (I'm pretty much broke anyways). I donate clothes that I don't wear anymore. The women in these shelters leave their homes with nothing, so I figure if I can at least give them a change of clothing, I am helping.