Strangulation is one of the most lethal forms of domestic violence.
Abusers often use non-fatal strangulation as a tactic to terrorize and control their victims by holding over them the literal power of life and death. Research into domestic violence fatalities shows that an abuser’s attempt to strangle the victim can be a dramatic predictor of future lethality in intimate partner violence cases.
Section 2718 amends Title 18 of the crimes code and allows defendants to be charged with the crime of strangulation – as well as felony charges in domestic violence cases.
The law states that a person commits the offense of strangulation; if the person knowingly or intentionally impedes the breathing or circulation of the blood of another person by applying pressure to the throat or neck, or blocking the nose and the mouth of the person.
The law also explicitly states that infliction of physical injury to a victim is not an element of the offense. This means the person who is strangled does not have to have a physical injury in order for the defendant to be charged with the crime of strangulation.