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Strangulation
Safety Plan

When domestic violence perpetrators strangle (choke) their victims, this is a crime.  Strangulation can be charged as a felony assault and could be considered attempted homicide. 

Strangulation is an ultimate form of power and control, where the batterer demonstrates control over the victim's next breath, having devastating psychological effects and a potentially fatal outcome. 

A SMALL AMOUNT OF PRESSURE AROUND THE NECK CAN RESULT IN A LOSS OF CONSCIOUSNESS IN 6.8 SECONDS.  DEATH CAN OCCUR WITHIN 62 SECONDS ALL THE WAY TO 152 SECONDS.  TO LEARN MORE, VISIT  youtube.com/watch?v=_i79_xdEgK8

Victims of non-fatal strangulation are at a higher risk of being re-assaulted by their abuser/perpetrator and 750% more likely of being killed by their abuser.  If the abuser/perpetrator has access to firearms the risk of being killed increases to 1100%

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Safety BEFORE Strangulation

  • Educate yourself on the seriousness of strangulation.​

  • If your abuser/perpetrator has threatened to strangle, choke, or suffocate you in the past, take it seriously. 

  • If your abuser/perpetrator talks about using strangulation/choking during sex or as "play", take this seriously for the health reasons mentioned previously.

  • If strangulation is imminent, try to remove scarves, jewelry, loose strings or cords that could be easily used to strangle you.

  • If possible, avoid rooms like the bedroom and bathroom, where the risk for suffocation by pillow or drowning may increase.

  • If comfortable, learn self-defense strategies to try to stop your abuser/perpetrator from strangling, like pressing your chin to your chest to block hands/arms from tightening and kneeing the abuser/perpetrator in the groin. 

  • If you can sense abuse coming, then you can try to manage it by implementing your safety plan (i.e. leave the home, tell someone you trust, ask someone to check on your, leave the room, etc.).

  • Remain calm and trust your judgment.

  • If you have more questions, connect with a victim advocate for additional support and safety planning.

  • Keep this safety plan in a safe place away from the abuser/perpetrator. 

 

Safety DURING Strangulation

  • Comply with abuser/perpetrator if necessary to stay alive.

  • Leave if possible.  Your life is at risk. 

  • Keep pressure off at least one side of your neck in order to keep from losing consciousness. 

  • If the abuser/perpetrator relaxes their hold, try to escape if you can. 

  • Trust your instincts, whether fighting back or not is most effective. 

 

Often survivors are reluctant to tell anyone about the abuse.

However, IF SOMEONE HAS STRANGLED/CHOKED YOU, OR IF ANYONE HAS EVER CAUSED YOU TO BE UNABLE TO BREATHE, YOU MUST SHARE THIS PIECE OF YOUR STORY; IT IS MOST IMPORTANT TO TELL BECAUSE IT CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE. 

Safety AFTER Strangulation

  • Get away immediately, call for help, and go to a safe place.

  • Seek immediate medical attention....IT MAY SAVE YOUR LIFE!

  • Know that you are not alone and there is HOPE FOR A BRIGHTER FUTURE

  • If you go to the hospital, tell the doctor/nurse you were strangled and request a CTA scan. 

  • Give your medical provider the Medical Assessment Card in order to get a complete medical exam. 

  • Do not be left alone for at least 48 to 72 hours after a strangulation assault. 

  • Take photos of your injuries immediately and/or a few days afterwards. 

  • Do not be embarrassed if there was involuntary urination or defecation, as this is a symptom of strangulation.

  • Do not wash your clothes (which could be evidence). 

  • It is important to FULLY explain to your medical provider everything that happened to you, and to follow up after your initial appointment. 

  • Follow up with an advocate for appropriate safety planning and additional resources and support. 

 

Safety plan provided by the Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention, a program of Alliance for HOPE International 
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"Now is the Time to Tell What Happened" -Survivor

I currenly live in Williams County, Ohio

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