REVEALED: 18 locals charged for strangling partners
AT least 18 domestic violence abusers from our region have been charged under Queensland's tough new strangulation laws.
The 17 men and one woman from the Capricornia police district face seven years in jail if found guilty of non-lethal strangulation, choking or suffocation in a domestic relationship.
Capricornia covers Rockhampton and Gladstone.
Queensland Police data shows more than 230 people were charged across the state between April and October.
Rockhampton's top cop, Assistant Commissioner Alistair Dawson, said while the number of people charged with strangulation was low it was highly likely many victims were not coming forward.
Mr Dawson said the crime was a common prelude to murder and could have lasting impacts for victims and for children who saw the attacks.
"It can have a lasting impact on the victim both medically and psychologically because it can cause other traumas later on and it can lead to serious medical conditions.
"Children can be traumatised by watching a parent being strangled and it sends a message to young people that this is acceptable and normal behaviour.
"If there are people who have this happening to them I would ask them to report it, to come and talk to us."
DV Connect chief executive Di Mangan said non-lethal strangulation happened daily in Queensland.
Ms Mangan said the crime needed tough sentencing options because it was one of the "five top indicators to domestic homicide".
"Women can die hours later (after strangulation) because of swelling in the neck area," Ms Mangan said.
"We had a case a number of years ago where the woman had been strangled but refused to go to hospital ... and she died during the night."
The Red Rose Foundation will host a three-day conference where police, family violence professionals and advocates, health workers and others will hear from American strangulation experts Gael Strack and Dr William Smock.
Ms Strack said it was vital that anyone coming into contact with domestic violence victims was aware of the dangers.
She pointed to the recent Florida Airport tragedy where a man who strangled his partner shot dead five people and injured six others.
"(This was) no surprise to any of us in the field but yet another story where the system keeps missing the significance of strangulation," said Ms Strack who is the founding director of the San Diego Family Justice Centre.
The Specialist Strangulation Training conference will be held at Royal on the Park in Brisbane from February 20-22.
Concerned community members are invited to attend and bookings are available here.
*For 24-hour support in Queensland phone DVConnect on 1800 811 811, MensLine on 1800 600 636 or the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732.
BY THE NUMBERS
Number of people charged with domestic violence strangulation offences in Queensland from April 19, 2016 to October 16, 2016
POLICE DISTRICT, CHARGED
North Brisbane, 36
South Brisbane, 21
Wide Bay Burnett, 13
Far North, 19
Mount Isa, 10
Gold Coast, 41
Darling Downs, 6
South West, 9
POLICE REGION, CHARGED
South Eastern, 51
Source: Queensland police
- ARM NEWSDESK