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Webster U. students aid domestic abuse victims

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WEBSTER GROVES, Mo. (AP) _ Undergraduate students at a suburban St. Louis university have begun working as legal advocates for imprisoned domestic violence victims as part of a new school program.

The Webster University WILLOW project was formed over the summer by a professor in the school’s legal studies department, which trains future police officers, paralegals and prospective lawyers. The acronym stands for Women Initiate Legal Lifelines to Other Women.

WILLOW director Anne Geraghty-Rathert said the group’s mission is to provide legal help to “society’s forgotten women.” Such campus-based efforts are usually found at law schools rather than at the undergraduate level.

Clients include a Texas County woman imprisoned for convincing her boyfriend to kill her mother and a Crawford County woman convicted of murder after her younger brother testified against her.