Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Gateway Crime That Leads to Murder

Important Facts

Strangulation has only recently been identified as one of the most lethal forms of domestic violence. Unconsciousness may occur within seconds and death within minutes. When domestic violence perpetrators choke (strangle) their victims, not only is this a felonious assault, but it may be an attempted homicide. Strangulation is an ultimate form of power and control, where the batterer can demonstrate control over the victim’s next breath; having devastating psychological effects or a potentially fatal outcome.

Sober and conscious victims of strangulation will first feel terror and severe pain. If strangulation persists, unconsciousness will follow. Before lapsing into unconsciousness, a strangulation victim may resist violently, which could lead to producing injuries of their own neck in an effort to claw off the assailant, and may also lead to producing injury on the face or hands to their assailant. These defensive injuries may not be present if the victim is physically or chemically restrained before the assault.

Losing Consciousness

Victims may lose consciousness by any one or all of the following methods: blocking of the carotid arteries in the neck (depriving the brain of oxygen), blocking of the jugular veins (preventing deoxygenated blood from exiting the brain), and closing off the airway, making breathing impossible.

Very little pressure on both the carotid arteries and/or veins for ten seconds is necessary to cause unconsciousness. However, if the pressure is immediately released, consciousness will be regained within ten seconds. To completely close off the trachea (windpipe), three times as much pressure (33 lbs.) is required. Brain death will occur in 4 to 5 minutes, if strangulation persists.

Observing Changes

Observation of the changes in these signs over time can greatly facilitate determination of the nature and scope of internal damage produced during the assault, and lend credibility to witness accounts of the force and duration of the assault.

Documentation by photographs sequentially for a period of days after the assault is very helpful in establishing a journal of physical evidence.

Victims should also seek medical attention if they experience difficulty breathing, speaking, swallowing or experience nausea, vomiting, lightheadedness, headache, involuntary urination and/or defecation.

Although most victims may suffer no visible injuries whatsoever and many fully recover from being strangled, all victims, especially pregnant victims, should be encouraged to seek immediate medical attention. A medical evaluation may be crucial in detecting internal injuries and saving a life.

Tips for defending yourself during an attack

  • It is important to remain calm.
  • Realize that you need to injure your attacker as quickly as possible, to ensure that your body has sufficient oxygen to function, and you should try not to lose consciousness.
  • Prepare yourself for physical retaliation by doing your best to locate the best target of retaliation, which in most cases will be the groin.


Once you've orientated yourself well enough to know where your attacker's groin area is, prepare to attack.
  • By driving your knee as hard as possible into your attacker's groin, you will not only seriously injure him, but make him lose his grip as he tries to protect his groin.
  • This will loosen his grip on your neck, and force him to bend forwards.
  • The sudden pain will temporarily distract him, giving you the opportunity to move to the next step of retaliation.
  • Flee to the closest place of safety for you the moment you are able to.  DO NOT STAY ANY LONGER THAN YOU NEED TO SAFELY GET AWAY.
If needed, Go for the eyes
Your attacker will be temporarily disabled after the blow to his groin, so take this opportunity to get the upper hand in the conflict.
  • Take hold of your attacker's head as quickly as possible, and drive your thumbs into his eyes,
  • This action will help disable him to the point where he will not be able to pursue you once you flee.
  • This attack will also cause a reflex action, causing him to bend backwards this time, away from the pain
  • Flee to the closest place of safety for you the moment you are able to. DO NOT STAY ANY LONGER THAN YOU NEED TO SAFELY GET AWAY.
If needed - Disable the attacker
Now that you have your attacker completely distracted, it is time to disable him in preparation for your escape.
  • He will now bend backwards after having his eyes injured, and he can be easily driven to the floor.
  • Kick his legs if he is not going down easily.
  • Position yourself over your attacker, driving your knee into his chest.
  • Flee to the closest place of safety for you the moment you are able to. DO NOT STAY ANY LONGER THAN YOU NEED TO SAFELY GET AWAY.
If needed - The final blow

Now that you have gained the upper hand on your attacker, it is time to injure him to the point where he cannot give chase, or possibly fight back.
  • Drive your thumbs deep into your attacker's eye sockets, permanently injuring him, and causing him immense pain.
  • Remember, it's you, or him.
  • Once you see that your attacker is unable to continue the attack, there is no need to continue your assault.
  • Calm down, and step quickly away from your attacker.
  • Flee to the closest place of safety for you the moment you are able to. DO NOT STAY ANY LONGER THAN YOU NEED TO SAFELY GET AWAY.

Your escape
You have sufficiently thwarted and disabled your attacker, and now it's time to flee. Make your way to the closest place of safety or the nearest police station, and report the attack, as well as the whereabouts of your attacker.

Seek medical attention, even if you feel fine!

Please remember that this sort of retaliation is a last resort. Never try to fight an attacker who has a deadly weapon.

Remember also that this is just a representation of a way to defend yourself against a stranglehold. It is a good idea for all people to attend self-defense classes - it is not merely enough to read this information.

3 out of 4 people personally know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence.

If you or someone you know has ever been put into a stranglehold - Call 1.800.799.SAFE (7233)

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1 comment:

  1. I love this blog. Such great information! A must read.