css-14iz86j-BoldText {font-weight: bold;} Later there will be a new step to make non-fatal strangulation a specific offense in England and Wales as the House of Lords over an amendment to the domestic abuse law is being debated

The government has said it has no plans to change the law, arguing that non-fatal strangulation is already covered by existing laws
However, activists say that non-fatal gagging abusers tell their victims, “I control you, and I can kill you” – but too often they are charged with just ordinary attacks

This is what happened in Jenny’s case. Her abusive partner used non-fatal strangulation as a control tool during the five years they were together

“It was like his favorite thing to do,” says Jenny, who asked the BBC not to use her real name

“That sounds really terrible and trivial, but this is how it becomes as an abuse victim you learn to accept that this is part of your life. It was like something I had to manage”

“We’d wake up in the morning and he’d be in one of those moods and I would see it in his eyes and I would think today is the day I’ll get it

“It could be as simple as, ‘I don’t like what you wear’ – that would end in strangulation”

“We came back from a party and he thought I had talked to his friend for too long

“He chased me around the house and every time he caught me he put me on the floor and strangled me until I had tracks

“I had ruptured blood vessels. I streamed with tears. I just kept thinking: ‘This is how I will die’

“The doors were locked. He had smashed my cell phone. I managed to get to the window and scream and one of the neighbors called the police

She was dismayed by the police reaction “I thought it was pretty relaxed. They weren’t taking strangulation as seriously as they should have”

Her partner was charged with collective assault. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months

“Strangulation must be a specific offense I think the poor police response helped keep me in the relationship,” she says

“I kept looking in the mirror and thinking: you have to go and you are the only person who can do that

“One day while he was sleeping, I picked up everything I could carry, ran off and got on a train”

Politicians and activists tried and failed to include a new crime of non-fatal strangulation in the Domestic Abuse Act as it went through the House of Commons

Now there will be another attempt in the Lords, in which the conservative peer and former Victims Commissioner Baroness Newlove tabled an amendment that was supported across parties

Baroness Newlove told the BBC that a separate crime of non-fatal strangulation is a red flag to help police detect domestic abuse and coercive control

“Whether or not there are marks around the victim’s neck that the eye cannot see is the extent of the violence that has been delivered

“The real effects of non-fatal strangulation can lead to immense health problems months later, due to internal bleeding, increased risk of miscarriage, neurological injuries, memory loss and, in some, stroke”

Nogah Offer, an attorney for the Center for Women’s Justice who led the campaign for a new crime, says, “We believe this is a real opportunity to make a difference

“At the moment the police don’t understand the severity of the strangulation – they are routinely minimizing it

“The Crown Prosecution Service policy states that strangulation can be charged as actual bodily harm, which is a more serious offense However, we note that police officers treat complaints as frequent assault or close cases without charge “

In a statement, the Justice Department said, “Non-fatal strangulation is a serious crime that is already covered by existing laws such as joint assault and attempted murder”

A spokesman said the government will continue to review this area of ​​the law, but said a specific offense of attempting to suffocate, strangle, or suffocate a person is in violations of the Personal Act of 1861 and according to the Serious 2015 includes the Crime Act, attempted strangulation may fall under the offense of coercive or control behavior

Dr Catherine White, clinical director of St Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Center in Manchester says, “Strangulation is often treated the same way as a slap or slap

“It is a very different crime. Often there is no external injury to the neck, which is why it is a very powerful tool for the perpetrator

One of Dr White-led research describes non-fatal strangulation as “a gender-based crime in which almost all patients are female and the alleged perpetrators are male”

And figures from the Femicide Census, which looked at cases of women killed by men in the UK, found that 29% died from strangulation in 2018

Activists point to New Zealand and some parts of the US and Australia where non-fatal strangulation has become a particular criminal offense

In the meantime, Jenny feels stronger and happier after the help of a women’s center and advice

Despite the pandemic, after finally escaping her perpetrator, she says: “2020 was one of the best years of my life”

The results of the races in the Senate on Tuesday will determine the balance of power in the upper chamber

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Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55531093