New strangulation law helping domestic abuse victims
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More than 200 people have been charged with non-fatal strangulation offences after the law was changed to protect victims of domestic abuse.
The new law, which came into force one year ago, was introduced in England and Wales as part of a wider reform of domestic abuse legislation.
In the first 12 months Nottinghamshire Police arrested 1,110 people on suspicion of the offence and charged 208 suspects with the crime. Many offenders have been jailed as a result.
Concerns had previously been raised that abusers were avoiding punishment because strangulation does not always leave visible signs of injury.
Because offenders often strangled victims during other violent attacks, they were often convicted only of other crimes that didn’t property reflect the seriousness of their actions.
Detective Inspector Dan Evans, domestic abuse lead at Nottinghamshire Police, said: “This was a welcome change in the law that has allowed us to hold more domestic abusers to account.
“Sadly, it is not uncommon for abusers to deliberately restrict their victims’ ability to breathe in order to abuse, control or intimidate them.
“The good news is that they can no longer hide behind lesser charges and now find it much harder to mask what they have done.
“We recognised straight away that this new law was a valuable tool with which to help victims and worked hard to ensure our front-line officers understood it and used their powers effectively.
“In the 12 months since we have had some really great results as a results, including a man jailed for 21 months for grabbing a woman by the throat, and another jailed for 18 months for a similar offence.
“Even in cases where we don’t have sufficient evidence to bring a charge, the act of arresting and interviewing a suspect on suspicion of this offence gives us plenty of additional options to help protect victims from harm”