Strangulation: The Last Warning
Strangulation has only recently been identified as one of the most lethal forms of domestic violence: unconsciousness may occur within seconds and death within minutes. When domestic violence perpetrators choke (strangle) their victims, not only is this a felonious assault, but it may be an attempted homicide. Strangulation is an ultimate form of power and control, where the batterer can demonstrate control over the victim’s next breath, having devastating psychological effects or a potentially fatal outcome.
It can be difficult to document and prosecute strangulation cases despite their lethality because injuries may appear to be minor or non-existent. However, medical research has shown this is far from the case—victims of strangulation can experience lasting medical and psychological consequences. Proper training of police officers, prosecutors, and medical professionals is vital to improving the prosecution of these offenders in felony or attempted murder strangulation cases.
- Increased awareness of the seriousness of strangulation assaults
- Increase understanding of the signs and symptoms of strangulation
- Improved understanding of the documentation of evidence and follow up investigations
- Improved understanding of advocacy for victims
- Gael Strack, CEO of Alliance for Hope International
- Judge Lee Chitwood, Pulaski County, Juvenile and Domestic Relations District County, Virginia