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Strangulation 101: The Last Warning Shot

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.

Course Objectives:

  1. Increase understanding of the signs and symptoms of strangulation
  2. Improve understanding of the documentation of evidence and follow up investigations
  3. Improve understanding of advocacy for victims
  4. Increased awareness of the seriousness of strangulation assaults 

Your Instructors:

Gael Strack is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Alliance for HOPE International. The Alliance has five main programs: the National Family Justice Center, Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention, Camp HOPE America, VOICES and the Justice Legal Network. Gael is an internationally recognized expert in non-fatal strangulation cases and regularly trains on numerous topics. Gael is also an Adjunct Professor at California Western School of Law teaching a class on “Domestic Violence and the Law”.




Jill Staff Pic WebJill Bring  has over 6 years of advocacy experience and has worked directly with survivors in a variety of settings including the Guilford County FJC, the City of Alexandria DV Program Safe House, and the Alexandria PD. Jill was part of a multidisciplinary team from the Guilford County FJC that attended the Adanced Course on Strangulation Prevention in 2017. She earned her BSW from NCSU and worked with refugees and immigrants before venturing into anti violence work. Jill has been with the Alliance since 2022 and has quickly become a valuable resource in both The Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention and The Family Justice Center Alliance programs.