It’s interesting to note that the U.S. passed laws protecting animals more than a century before enacting legislation protecting women. The ASPCA was founded in 1866 and the first state law making wife beating a punishable crime wasn’t passed until 1882 in Maryland. In 1994, the Violence Against Women Act was introduced by Joe Biden and signed into law by Bill Clinton. Justice Department reports that intimate partner violence has dropped 64% in the 20 years since the law was passed. In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we’re recognizing 15 domestic abuse stories of women who helped change the way we view this issue and inspired others to take action.