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Local agency applauds signing of Violence Against Women Act

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Advocates and survivors of domestic violence are celebrating a victory today as President Obama has signed an expanded Violence Against Women Act.The bill will extend domestic violence protections and strengthens the criminal justice system's response to crimes against women

Mary Travers Murphy is executive director of the Family Justice Center in Buffalo, which works to protect women from violence. Murphy says the President's signature is "fantastic" news. 

"It protect people from abuse and it educates the public on what it's all about and it assists law enforcement and prosecutors and gives them the funds to move it forward," Murphy said.

"The bill is a no-brainer, and I think that's why people were scratching their heads when it ran into some political opposition."

The law includes new protections for gays and lesbians and gives tribal courts the power to prosecute non-Indians who attack their Native American partners on tribal lands. It also provides equal access to programs for lesbians, gays and immigrants.

Murphy says Buffalo's Family Justice Center was founded through funding provided by the Violence Against Woman Act several years ago.