Some translations take malis
here as an ablative of time/circumstances (a particular version of the locative ablative): in their distress / in the evil they were in
Other translations take it (and I would prefer this reading) as an ablative of means implying here also a cause (a version of the instrumental ablative): by the means (because=) of the bad situation / the distress they were in
The syntax works thus (as you probably know already):pavor muliebris [hīs] malīs vincitur
--> pavor muliebris [hīs] malīs victus est
--> victō(abl.) malīs(abl.) muliebrī(abl.) pavōre(abl.)made with http://linguax.com
= when the womanly fear had been overcome by the means (=because) of the bad situation [they're were in]
So pick which you prefer.