CNN  — 

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.