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Abusers face up to five years in jail for non-fatal strangulation

ABUSERS who inflict non-fatal strangulation on their victim will face up to five years in prison following a change in the law.

The offence, created as part of landmark domestic abuse legislation, came into force in England and Wales today.

It applies to perpetrators who strangle or intentionally affect their victim’s ability to breathe so as to control or intimidate them.

The reform follows concerns that abusers were avoiding punishment because non-fatal strangulation does not always leave visible signs of injury.

Domestic Abuse Commissioner Nicole Jacobs welcomed the change but said she is worried that it will not be used as widely as it should be without a more co-ordinated approach from the government.

In the absence of clear training and guidance, police officers, front-line workers and others may be unaware of the new offence, she said, meaning that it could be under-charged as “common assault” or not investigated or prosecuted at all.

Crown Prosecution Service lead for domestic abuse Kate Brown said: “We are developing training for prosecutors to ensure the offences are properly identified from the outset.”


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