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S7111 Senator Schneiderman / A10237 Assemblyman Lentol

An ACT to amend the penal law, the criminal procedure law, the domestic relations law, the executive law, the family court act, and the social services law, in relation to throttling and strangulation.

MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT

S7111
Senator Schneiderman

A10237
Assemblyman Lentol

An ACT to amend the penal law, the criminal procedure law, the domestic relations law, the executive law, the family court act, and the social services law, in relation to throttling and strangulation.

On behalf of the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police, I write to support Assembly bill A 10237 and Senate bill S 7111 and urge its passage in both houses of the Legislature.

Throttling and strangulation are among the most potentially lethal forms of abuse. When perpetrators of domestic violence use these acts to silence their victims, it is a form of power and control that has devastating psychological effects and can cause an irreversible and fatal outcome.

Throttling and strangulation epitomize the power dynamic in most domestic violence cases. This is because these acts send a message to the victim that the perpetrator holds the power to take the victim=s life, with little effort, in a short period of time, in a manner that may leave little evidence of an altercation.

Eleven pounds or more of pressure applied to a person=s neck for just ten seconds can cause unconsciousness. Death can occur in minutes. While these acts are incredibly dangerous, one study found that strangulation represents ten percent of violent deaths in the United States each year (involving six female victims to every male victim). Non-homicidal throttling and strangulation may be difficult to prove because, often, these crimes leave no visible bruise or mark. One recent California study, for example, found that in a majority of misdemeanor cases involving pressure on the neck, police reported no visible sign of injury. Throttling and strangulation can be extremely painful. The suffering endured by these victims often includes torment caused by the blocking of blood flow and/or near asphyxiation; it is not necessarily limited to Apain@ alone.

Effective prosecution of cases involving throttling and strangulation is challenging under current law. Since this bill would address this conduct in discreetly defined crimes, and significantly increase the applicable penalties, thereby assuring that perpetrators of these reprehensible crimes are successfully prosecuted and punished, we strongly urge that it be enacted into law.

New York State Association of Chiefs of Police

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