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To: Hon Steven Marshall, Premier of South Australia

Support laws against non-fatal strangulation in South Australia

Please support specific laws covering non-fatal strangulation, as well as training for legal, medical, advocacy and other professionals to enhance their knowledge of strangulation and to improve policy and practice.

At present South Australia does not have a specific offence of strangulation or choking but relies on general offence provisions which deal with "injurious behaviour". However, laws are being drafted.

I urge you to:
1. support a criminal charge of strangulation, similar to that in Queensland and the ACT, to address non-fatal strangulation;
2. ensure that laws recognise that:
a) strangulation can cause long-term disability and death, even if the victim remains conscious;
b) the intent of a domestic violence perpetrator may be to instil fear and control the victim, rather than to inflict injury on or kill them.
3. support training to enhance professionals’ knowledge of strangulation and to improve policy and practice.

Why is this important?

A woman surviving non-fatal strangulation is eight times more likely to be later murdered by her domestic violence perpetrator.

Like Joy Rowley who was choked unconscious eight months before her murder. Her assailant “wasn't charged for six months amid police concern there was insufficient evidence".

Strangulation can cause disability or later death, with no external signs of injury. They may be incorrectly attributed to other causes. See:

It’s a weapon to instil fear and increase control over a victim.

Professionals may miss subtle signs. Training can improve practice and policy.

Victims' participation in life is affected, as are families' and communities'. Child witnesses suffer disrupted education and their physical and mental health may be affected.

Laws not recognising the impact of non-fatal strangulation have been shown to let perpetrators get away with their crimes and leave victims living with violence under threat of death.


2018-07-20 13:48:58 +1000

500 signatures reached

2018-07-14 01:16:05 +1000

100 signatures reached

2018-07-13 16:13:22 +1000

50 signatures reached

2018-07-13 14:12:57 +1000

25 signatures reached

2018-07-13 11:55:34 +1000

10 signatures reached