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Strangulation: A Predictor Of Greater Violence


If you are a victim of domestic violence (DV), you have likely suffered in silence for some time.  The various aspects of this tragedy include verbal and emotional abuse, often accompanied by hitting, kicking, biting, burning, throwing things, and strangulation.  Sadly, studies indicate that for victims of strangulation, the chances of greater violence, including homicide, are significant.  If you are suffering from violent episodes in your marriage and you don’t know how to get out, the assistance of an experienced local divorce attorney cannot come too soon.

The Impact of Strangulation 

Unlike choking, which involves an internal throat blockage, strangulation occurs only when the pressure occurs from outside the body. As strangulation occurs, victims often experience lightheadedness, nausea, and loss of bodily functions.  In the aftermath, symptoms include petechiae, or blood splotches in the eyes, swollen lips, and neck bruising and/or swelling. Victims may have difficulty speaking, breathing, and swallowing. The tongue may become swollen and there may be cuts inside the mouth.  Ringing in the ears is not uncommon, along with changes in vision and severe pain. Certainly, in addition to the physical outcomes, the mental and emotional consequences can be devastating. Depression, PTSD, nightmares, anxiety, and even psychosis and thought of suicide may plague victims for years after such encounters.  When a person’s air flow and/or blood vessels have become constricted to the point of asphyxia, a victim’s throat and brain can be seriously damaged.  The long-term impacts might include headaches, loss of memory, weakness, vomiting, and dizziness. In worst-case scenarios, it can even result in death. While some might think death would occur immediately following a strangulation incident, it is not uncommon for blot clots, artery damage, or respiratory damage to become fatal weeks or months after an event.

The Data 

Tragically, 25 percent of women will experience violent episodes involving an intimate partner during their lifetime.  Over two-thirds of them will experience strangulation at the hands of someone who claims to love them.  The event often takes place using only the aggressor’s hands, and over one-third of victims lose consciousness.  More than two-thirds of victims fear that they will die in the moment of abuse.

Control and Power 

Strangulation is a violent expression of control and power over a victim.  Those who survive these events must understand the seriousness of the problem.  Abusers who resort to such extreme abuse are not likely to change their behaviors without dramatic interventions.  In the meanwhile, getting away from the abuser is the only true chance at safety.

Advocating for You 

The experienced Boca Raton domestic violence divorce attorneys at WiseLieberman are prepared to assist you in obtaining a restraining order, creating a parenting plan that protects your children, and moving forward with your life.  Contact us for a confidential consultation today.

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