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NEW LAW CRIMINALIZES STRANGULATION

    Strangulation is one of the most common and deadly forms of domestic violence.  For years, prosecutors in Pennsylvania lacked the power to prosecute it under its own statute.  That changed in 2016.  
    The law made non-fatal strangulation - applying pressure to the throat or neck, or blocking the nose and mouth of a victim - a felony offense if the defendant is:
  • A family or household member
  • Subject to an active Protection from Abuse Order
  • Has a previous strangulation conviction.
       Strangulation is a tactic abusers use to terrorize their victims, often as a control method in an abusive relationship.  Strangulation also dramatically increases the likelihood of lethality in domestic violence.  One study has shown the odds of becoming a homicide victim increased 800% for women who had been strangled by their partner.  The occurrence of strangulation has been reported in more than half of women who were being assessed for intimate partner violence, and an alarming number of victims have reported being strangled multiple times by their abusive partner.