Summary of recommendations
- R1 Part 8 of the Crimes Act 1961 should be amended to make a person who strangles or suffocates another person liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years.
- R2 In that offence, “strangles or suffocates” should mean impedes normal breathing or circulation of the blood by intentionally applying force on the neck or by other means.
Noting family violence on the criminal record
- R3 The Crimes Act should be amended to require that, if a person pleads guilty to the strangulation offence or is found guilty of the strangulation offence, and the court is satisfied that the offence was a family violence offence, the court must direct that the offence be recorded on the person’s criminal record as a family violence offence.
Aggravating factor for sentencing
- R4 Section 9 of the Sentencing Act 2002 should be amended to include strangulation as an aggravating factor that must be taken into account in sentencing.
- R5 The Police family violence incident report (POL 1310) should be amended to include questions designed to screen for strangulation.
- R6 The Police National Intelligence Application (NIA) should be amended to record specifically whether or not a family violence incident included an allegation of strangulation.
- R7 Police who attend family violence call-outs should receive education about the prevalence, signs, symptoms and lethality of strangulation. Similar education should also be offered to judges who undertake criminal law or family law work.