Club members responded to a request from fellow Soroptimist the Victims’ Commissioner Dame Vera Baird regarding an amendment to the Domestic Abuse Bill to include non-fatal strangulation as a free-standing offence and have written to the ministers involved with the bill, Victoria Atkins and Alex Chalk. Non-fatal strangulation is a common type of abuse used by abusers, as it gives a clear message to the victim that they can kill them any time they wish. Victims of non – fatal strangulation ( almost always women) are 8 times more likely to be killed by the abuser and not always by strangulation. Victims suffer significant health problems including brain damage, stroke, anxiety and PTSD.
Currently abusers are frequently charged with common assault as often there is no obvious mark and therefore is difficult to bring a charge of actual bodily harm. There is a 6 month time limit for charging in cases of common assualt and many cases do not come to court. An offence of non- fatal strangulation would give a clear message to perpetrators and the police and ensure better justice for women.
See the Centre for Women’s Justice page for further information for the case to amend the Domestic Abuse Bill to include non-fatal strangulation.
See the UK Programme Action Committee work on non-fatal strangulation
The Domestic Abuse Bill is awaiting its second reading in the House of Lords on a date to be announced and Grange Soroptimists will be lobbying again if necessary.
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