U.S. President Barack Obama signed the reauthorisation of the Violence Against Women Act on Thursday.

Citing the impact the first act has had on society since becoming law in 1994, Obama said it helped to curb domestic violence by empowering victims to speak out.

"The great legacies of this law is that it didn't just change the rules it changed our culture," he said.

The original law protects women against domestic and sexual abuse. The reauthorisation extends and expands protections to Native American women on tribal lands attacked by non-tribal residents in addition to protecting the LGBT community and immigrants.

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