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Strangulation now an offence under the Domestic Abuse Act 2021

On the 7th June, a new offence came into force which will mean abusers who strangle their partners in an attempt to control or induce fear will now face up to five years in jail.

Non-fatal strangulation has now been made a specific offence as part of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021.  It followed concerns that perpetrators were avoiding punishment as strangling can often leave no visible injury, making it harder to prosecute.  The offence will apply to any person who intentionally strangles or suffocates another person, affecting their victim’s ability to breathe in an attempt to control or intimate them, including in cases of domestic abuse.

The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 amends the Serious Crime Act 2015 and introduces two new sections: Section 75A and 75B which create a new and specific criminal offence of non-fatal strangulation and suffocation.

It will apply to British nationals abroad meaning people can be prosecuted in England and Wales for offences committed overseas.

Domestic abuse, whether physical or psychological, is unacceptable in any relationship and no one should ever be made to feel scared or threatened in their own home. But we know that simply walking away from a violent partner isn’t always an option - particularly if children are involved or you don’t have access to your own finances. That’s why it’s vital to talk to someone you trust - a legal expert who can provide sympathetic but practical advice; explaining your options and helping you put an end to domestic abuse.

Help and support is also available at the 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247.

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