A Bill has been introduced into the NSW Parliament the Crimes Amendment (Strangulation) Bill 2014 which aims to simplify and modernise the existing offence of strangulation in the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). Strangulation is a potentially fatal act, which causes significant physical and psychological trauma to victims. It is prevalent in domestic violence incidents. The use of strangulation in this context is a recognised indicator of the risk of further harm to victims of domestic violence, including homicide.
This Bill intends to help victims of domestic violence and a response to two obstacles identified by the Director of Public Prosecutions in appropriately charging and prosecuting strangulation. The existing section 37 has limited application in many domestic violence cases because it requires an intention to commit a separate indictable offence, such as sexual assault or robbery. Where the assault itself is the act of strangulation or choking, section 37 in its current form cannot apply.
You can read more about domestic violence on the following research guides: