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Information on Strangulation

Seek medical attention or call 911 if you have any of the following symptoms:
Difficulty breathing, trouble swallowing, swelling to your neck, pain to your throat, hoarseness or voice changes, blurred vision, continuous or severe headaches, seizures, vomiting or persistent cough.

If you would like more information about our services or to schedule an exam, please call the SPEAK Hotline: 575-303-7070

To speak to a victim advocate, 24/7, call 575-303-7072

If you are in danger: Dial 911 for help

If you are experiencing suicidal or homicidal ideation: Dial 988 for help

If you are injured: Seek medical care or go to the emergency room

Patient Waiting

Strangulation has been identified as one of the most lethal forms of domestic violence: unconsciousness may occur within seconds and death within minutes. When domestic violence perpetrators choke (strangle) their victims, not only is this a felonious assault, but it may be  an attempted homicide. Strangulation is an ultimate form of power and control, where the batterer can demonstrate control over the victim's next breath; having devastating psychological effects or a potentially fatal outcome.

After a strangulation assault, you can experience internal injuries with a delayed onset of symptoms. These internal injuries can be serious or fatal.

- Stay with someone you trust for the first 24 hours and have them monitor you signs and symptoms.

- Seek medical attention or call 911 if you have any of the following symptoms: difficulty breathing, trouble swallowing, swelling to your neck, pain to your throat, hoarseness or voice changes, blurred vision, continuous or severe headaches, seizures, vomiting or persistent cough.

- The cost of your medical care may be covered by Crime Victim Compensation fund- our advocates can provide resources and more information about your options.
To speak to an advocate, 575-303-7072

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Symptoms of Strangulation

Voice Changes

Raspy and/or hoarse voice, coughing, unable to speak, complete loss of voice.

Swallowing Changes

Trouble swallowing, painful swallowing, neck pain, nausea/vomiting, drooling.

Breathing Changes

Difficulty breathing, hyperventilation, unable to breathe.

 

Behavioral Changes

Restlessness or combativeness, problems concentrating, amnesia, agitation, Post-traumatic Stress Syndrome, hallucinations.

 

Vision Changes

Complete loss or black & white vision, seeing 'stars', blurry, darkness, fuzzy around the eyes.

 

Hearing Changes

Complete loss of hearing, gurgling, ringing, buzzing, popping pressure, tunnel-like hearing.

 

Other Changes

Memory loss, unconsciousness, dizziness, headache, involuntary urination or defecation, loss of strength, going limp.
 

Signs of Strangulation

Head

Pinpoint red spots (petechiae) on scalp, hair pulled, bump(s), skull fracture, concussion.

Face

Red or flushed, petechiae, scratch marks.

Eyes and Eyelids

Petechiae to the left or right eyeball, bloodshot eyes.

 

Ear

Petechiae (external and/or ear canal), bleeding from ear canal.

 

Nose

Bloody nose, broken nose, petechiae.

 

Mouth

Bruising, swollen tongue, swollen lips, cuts/abrasions.

 

Under the Chin

Redness, scratch marks, bruise(s), abrasions.

 

Neck

Redness, scratch marks, fingernail impressions, bruise(s), abrasions, swelling, ligature marks.

Chest and Shoulders

Redness, scratch marks, bruise(s), abrasions.

Myths and Facts about Strangulation

Myth Strangulation and Choking are the same thing
    Fact  Strangulation is the external application of physical force that impedes either air or blood to or from the brain. Choking is an internal obstruction of the airway by a foreign object.

Myth Strangulation always leaves visible injuries

    Fact  Studies show that over half the victims of strangulation lack visible external injury. A victim without visible external injury can still die from strangulation.

Myth If the victim can speak, scream, or breathe, they are not being strangled

    Fact  Since strangulation involves obstruction of blood flow, a person can have complete obstruction and continue breathing until the moment they die from lack of oxygenated blood flow to the brain.

Myth Strangulation victims should be able to detail their attack

    Fact  Trauma impacts the brains ability to store memory. In addition, the hippocampus (part of the brain where memory is stored) is the most sensitive to oxygen deprivation. When a victim is strangled, both factors can impact the ability to recall.

Strangulation Resource Information

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Signs and Symptoms of Strangulation

Strangulation- Fact Sheet.PNG

Strangulation Fact Sheet

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Medical Recommendations for Strangulation

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Safety Plan

These shared strangulation resources were created by Alliance for HOPE International & Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention

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