Saying it was a “day of the advocates, a day of the survivors,” President Obama signed an expanded Violence Against Women Act on Thursday in Washington.
“This is your victory,” Obama said. “And this victory shows that when the American people make their voices heard, Washington listens.”
Originally passed in 1994 and reauthorized since, the act provides support for organizations that serve domestic violence victims. Criminal prosecutions of abusers are generally the responsibility of local authorities, but the act stiffened sentences for stalking under federal law.
The new version of the law includes several new measures, including granting Native American tribes jurisdiction to prosecute non-native perpetrators of domestic and sexual violence against native women. Previously, tribes had no jurisdiction over non-tribal members, even if they are married to native women or reside on native lands.
Source: (CNN International)