Non-fatal strangulation offenders to face up to five years in prison as part of Domestic Abuse Act | UK News


Abusers who strangle their partners in an attempt to control or induce fear face up to five years in prison after a new offence came into force.

Non-fatal strangulation typically involves someone strangling or intentionally affecting their victim’s ability to breathe in an attempt to control or intimidate them.

And it has been made a specific offence as part of the Government’s Domestic Abuse Act.

It will apply to British nationals abroad meaning people can be prosecuted in England and Wales for offences committed overseas.

The decision was made following concerns that perpetrators were avoiding punishment as the act can often leave no visible injury, making it harder to prosecute under existing offences such as Actual Bodily Harm (ABH).

Meanwhile, scheme allowing victims and witnesses of crimes such as rape and modern slavery to have their cross-examination video-recorded and played back later during trial has been extended to another 11 Crown Courts.

The recording takes place as close to the time of the offence as possible, while memories remain fresh, and helps victims avoid the stress of giving evidence in a trial setting.

It had already been introduced successfully in 26 other courts.

Minister for Tackling Violence against Women and Girls, Victoria Atkins MP said: “These measures are part of our plan to ensure victims get the support and justice they deserve, alongside introducing a new Victims law, launching a 24/7 rape helpline, recruiting more independent sexual violence advisers and improving collaboration between police and prosecutors.”

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Steve Witheyman, service manager at Sexual Trauma and Abuse Restorative Therapies (START) in Hampshire, where the measure was rolled out last month, said: “The value of pre-recorded evidence for victims and survivors of sexual trauma is massive as it offers protection from a real and often damaging re-traumatisation and rerun of past events and unwanted experiences.

“It is a huge leap forward in the criminal justice system and a significant mindset change where truly supporting a victim becomes a key component in the whole process and will undoubtedly encourage more victims to report sexual crime in the future.”


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