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Anti-violence advocates applaud updated Violence Against Women Act

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WASHINGTON -

President Barack Obama Thursday signed into law an expanded Violence Against Women Act. The bill was co-authored by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont.

The law strengthens protections for victims who are attacked on tribal land. It makes clear that lesbians, gays and immigrants should have equal access to the law's programs. It also provides law enforcement the tools they need to help reduce the backlog of rape kits sitting in police agencies and crime labs throughout the country.

The president called the expanded anti-violence bill a "victory" for advocates and survivors of domestic violence.

Michelle Hough is with Women Helping Battered Women. She appeared on the Channel 3 News at 6 p.m. to talk about why the expanded law is so important.

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