Abusers who strangle their partners in an attempt to control or induce fear will face up to 5 years behind bars when a new offence comes into force today (7 June 2022).
Non-fatal strangulation was made a specific offence as part of the government’s landmark Domestic Abuse Act. The practice typically involves a perpetrator strangling or intentionally affecting their victim’s ability to breathe in an attempt to control or intimidate them.
It followed concerns that perpetrators were avoiding punishment as the act can often leave no visible injury, making it harder to prosecute under existing offences such as Actual Bodily Harm (ABH). Studies have shown that victims are seven times more likely to be murdered by their partner if there had been non-fatal strangulation beforehand.
The new offence will also apply to British nationals abroad. It means perpetrators can be prosecuted in England and Wales for offences committed overseas – ensuring there is no escape for abusers.
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