Tougher laws to punish offenders who strangle their partners to control or intimidate them have been welcomed by the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner.
Non-fatal strangulation has been included as a new offence in the government’s landmark Domestic Abuse Act. The practice involves a perpetrator strangling or intentionally impacting their victim’s ability to breathe to assert control and induce fear.
Under the new ruling, offenders could face up to five years in jail – a move welcomed by Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Police and Crime Commissioner Rupert Matthews.
“Non-fatal strangulation is extremely dangerous behaviour used as a means to control and terrorise victims,” said Mr Matthews.
“Before now, perpetrators were able to avoid punishment as this despicable act often leaves no visible injuries, making it hard to obtain vital evidence.
“This new law gives victims of domestic violence more protection and will help to prevent future homicides by identifying and punishing perpetrators at the onset of violent behaviour. It will also help officers to manage and assess risk and ensure victims receive the support they need.
“I am pleased the government has listened to campaigners by taking this positive action. These changes will reassure victims of domestic violence their safety is taken extremely seriously and encourage more people to come forward to report their experiences to the police.”
Studies show victims are seven times more likely to be murdered by their partner if there has been non-fatal strangulation previously.
The new offence will ensure perpetrators can be prosecuted in England and Wales for offences committed overseas – ensuring there is no escape for abusers.
It comes as the government announced the extension of special measures schemes at a further 11 Crown Courts across the Midlands and South West sparing victims of rape the trauma of being cross-examined in court during a live trial. Instead, victims will be provided with the chance of pre-recording their evidence before their case gets to trial, subject to a successful application to the court.
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Posted on Friday 24th June 2022