Obama signs Violence Against Women Act

WASHINGTON (JTA) – President Obama signed into law the Violence Against Women Act to a cheering crowd of Jewish, Native American, immigrant and LGBT women.

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Right before he signed the law, which expands protection to several minority groups and increases and includes funding for more housing alternatives for abused women, Obama praised those gathered at the Department of the Interior March 7, calling them courageous.

He thanked those who worked for the bipartisan passing of the Violence Against Women Act, noting, “This victory shows that when the American people make their voices heard, Washington listens,” Obama said.

Among the groups represented at the ceremony were Jewish Women International, the National Council of Jewish Women, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs and the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center.

The Violence Against Women Act first became law in 1994 and has been reauthorized several times since then.

A broad array of Jewish groups backed enhancements to the reauthorized version that expand the act’s protections to cover the Lesbian, Gay. Bisexual and Transgender community and facilitate its use for Native Americans and undocumented immigrants.

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