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When it comes to domestic violence, certain acts point towards a higher chance of homicide. For example, domestic abusers who strangle or choke their spouses are more likely to murder them in the future. This evidence was so compelling to the U.S. Sentencing Commission that in 2014 it was suggested that crimes involving strangulation should receive an additional ten years added to the prison sentence.

Unfortunately, many remain unaware of the seriousness of choking when it comes to domestic violence. Hitting or kicking a person can lead to obvious injuries, such as bruises and fractures, but the evidence of choking is often easy to overlook if you don’t know the common signs. Additionally, many men who have choked their spouses received minimal punishment, signaling that this type of domestic abuse is not considered as dangerous as others.

The fact remains that strangulation can be quite damaging and depending on the severity, may even result in lasting injuries. Loss of oxygen, even for a short period of time, can cause devastating effects to the brain. This can include injuries that impact memory and reasoning, as well as an increased risk of stroke. People who’ve been strangled also have a greater risk of other complications, including damage to arteries, breathing problems, and blood clots.

While getting out of an abusive relationship is imperative for a person’s health and well-being, it’s rarely easy to do so. Women are encouraged to contact loved ones for a safe place to stay or assistance while they’re moving out of the home. You can also contact the police for their assistance. They can advise you on filing a restraining order or even just accompany you to the home so you can remove your belongings. If you’re without a place to go, seek out a women’s shelter in your area for temporary lodging.