Neither Glover nor Bowman would ever make it to the courthouse. Police said Bowman approached her and shot her with a shotgun. When police responded, she was pronounced dead at the scene. Her young son was physically unharmed, and police have said he is safe, declining to provide more details.

Police didn't name Glover as a suspect until late Wednesday. They also declined to release his mug shot from when he was arrested on the assault charge, citing an "active investigation."

His body was found late Wednesday night, and his identity was confirmed by police Thursday evening.

Advocates have been working for years to close the gaps in Maryland law that they contend contribute to dangerous situations for women. They also have been working with judges and community leaders in the state to spread awareness about domestic violence.

In October, the bail review process was changed so that judges and commissioners are informed whether an assault charge is related to domestic abuse.

"In the past, there had been no way for a judge to understand whether or not an assault on a man's record was a barroom brawl or an assault on his wife or girlfriend or intimate partner," Timmins said.

That change was a victory, but advocacy organizations have several other proposals. They want to revisit penalties for cases of attempted strangulation, a kind of assault associated with the likelihood of future violence.

They also want to ease requirements for obtaining protective orders and require that individuals released on bail in domestic abuse cases wear GPS tracking devices — a policy already in place in other states.

"That might be an additional protection to offer, because you can tell them to stay away, you can have a protective order for them to stay away, but you need them to stay away," Ruth said.

She and others stressed that women who are the victims of domestic violence should not dismiss the effectiveness of protections already in place. Many offenders do heed protective order restrictions and bail conditions. And victims can report violations of protective orders, which can be a powerful law enforcement tool, they said.

"We really don't like that message that [a protective order] is only a piece of paper," Ruth said.

Still, more can be done, she said.

Timmins, of House of Ruth, agreed. Statistics show one in four women experience some form of abuse during their life, she said, and raising awareness will be key to winning more protections for women.

"Every single one of us probably has one or more persons in their lives who has been affected by this," she said.