Family violence committee backs strangulation recommendation

8 Mar 2016 | Family Violence Death Review Committee

The Family Violence Death Review Committee (the FVDRC) welcomes comments by Justice Minister Amy Adams supporting efforts to make non-fatal strangulation a specific crime.

In its Fourth Annual Report[1] published in 2014 the FVDRC called for the Government to consider an amendment to the Crimes Act 1961 to include non-fatal strangulation as a separate crime.

"Non-fatal strangulation is extremely dangerous and has a significant physical and psychological impact on victims. There is a fine line between a non-fatal and a fatal strangulation," says the FVDRC’s chair Associate Professor Julia Tolmie.

"A San Diego study[2] found most abusers do not strangle to kill, they strangle to show they can kill. Strangulation is often present in cases we review, either in the history of a victim’s abuse or as part of the death event."

References

  1. Family Violence Death Review Committee, Fourth Annual Report: January 2013 to December 2013, Wellington, Health Quality & Safety Commission, 2014. https://www.hqsc.govt.nz/assets/FVDRC/Publications/FVDRC-4th-report-June-2014.pdf
  2. G.B. Strack and C. Gwinn, ‘On the edge of homicide: Strangulation as a prelude’, Criminal Justice, vol. 26, no. 3, 2011.

Last updated 09/03/2016