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Strangulation has been identified as one of the most lethal forms of domestic violence and sexual assault.  Strangulation is an ultimate form of power and control demonstrating control over the victim’s next breath and this may have devastating psychological effects or a potentially fatal outcome.

To learn more from the Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention

If your partner has ever put their hands around your neck, put you in a “sleeper hold,” or wrapped anything like a scarf, necklace, belt, or rope around your neck, you have experienced strangulation. For immediate help:  Call 1.800.799.SAFE (7233)
                                                               TTY 1.800.787.3224


                                                              Text "START" to 88788


TRIGGER WARNING: Graphic description on strangulation

Strangulation: A Deadly, Overlooked Reality in Domestic Violence

A crime so brutal and terrifying, yet overlooked and under-recognized. Strangulation, a silent killer, lurking in the shadows of domestic violence. The act of compressing the neck, strangulation cuts off the air supply and blood flow to the brain, leading to unconsciousness in as little as 10 seconds and death within minutes. Unequivocally, one of the strongest predictors of homicide in domestic violence cases, strangulation increases a victim's chances of being killed by their abuser by a staggering 750%. 
Perpetrators use strangulation as a form of power and control in an attempt to silence their victims which leaves long-lasting devastating effects both psychologically and physically.   
The scary truth is victims may have no visible injuries, yet severe internal injuries can be fatal within days or weeks. Without external injury, the lack of training for first responders has minimized this particular form of violence leaving victims to have serious health issues, further violence, and the worst case scenario, death, including suicide. 

Dangers of Strangulation


Common Symptoms of Strangulation

While it is possible to die from strangulation without showing symptoms, physical symptoms can occur, and it’s important to recognize them. They can include:

  • a sore throat

  • difficulty swallowing

  • neck pain

  • hoarseness

  • bruising on the neck or behind your ears

  • discoloration on your tongue

  • ringing in your ears

  • bloodshot eyes

  • dizziness

  • memory loss

  • drooling

  • nausea or vomiting

  • difficulty breathing

  • incontinence

  • a seizure

  • a miscarriage

  • changes in mood or personality, like agitation or aggression

  • changes in sleep patterns

  • changes in vision, such as blurriness or seeing double

  • fainted or lost consciousness


Since strangulation is so dangerous, it’s important to have a safe way to document the abuse. We strongly recommend you consider seeing a doctor if your partner has strangled you. Also, know that you always have the right to file a police report, press charges for an assault, or seek a restraining order against someone who is choosing to be abusive towards you.


Finding Help

If you have been strangled in your relationship, it’s vital that you find help.

Search for local resources at:

Click here for helpful tips when looking to get help:

*Information from Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention

National Domestic Violence Hotline

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