Chapter 7
Additional options for reform

Education about strangulation

7.17It became very apparent to us in the course of this review that the significance of strangulation is not well understood by the Police, lawyers, judges and doctors who deal on a day-to-day basis with the victims of family violence. The picture is different for the family violence specialists in each of these fields who keep abreast of developments in this area. Amongst that group, there is growing awareness of the prevalence of strangulation as a method for threatening and exerting control and the significant impact this has on victims. Family violence specialists expressed frustration that there are not better systems to respond to it.

7.18We are satisfied that there is strong evidence linking strangulation in family violence circumstances to a high risk of a future fatal attack. Therefore, perhaps the most important proactive measure is education for all groups who deal with family violence victims to ensure strangulation is better understood. That education would need to cover:

7.19If people dealing with victims of family violence understand the significance of strangulation, we expect they would:

7.20In addition, a particular focus for education of Police could be on appropriately charging strangulation. As we described earlier, it appears that strangulation is often under-charged.