“Twenty years ago today, former President Bill Clinton signed a massive crime-control bill that funded shelters for battered women and helped train police to investigate attacks. The anniversary of the law falls on a week when violence against women is front and center in the national conversation.
First, the Baltimore Ravens fired player Ray Rice after TMZ released a video where he knocked his then-fiancee unconscious. Then, a South African judge convicted sprinter Oscar Pistorius of negligently killing his girlfriend.
A key part of that 1994 law, known as the Violence Against Women Act, redefined wife beating as a crime rather than a joke. It's hard to believe now, but for years, that was a source of humor in TV sitcoms….”