Serious strangulation offences in NSW could be included in the same violent crimes category as murder and manslaughter offences.
Draft laws introduced in State Parliament this week are calling for tougher prison sentences and restrictions for strangulation offenders.
Victims of non-fatal strangulations are at an increased risk of further violence. A link between strangulation and domestic violence deaths has also been established.
Strangulation offences in NSW
Strangulation is already an offence in NSW. These draft laws aim to increase the punishment for the crime.
If these draft laws are passed, the movements of an offender could be strictly supervised and the release of an offender from prison could be denied. These decisions would be up to the NSW Supreme Court.
The court would have the power to grant these requests if it determined an offender posed an “unacceptable risk” of committing another serious offence. This could include strangulation, but also extend to murder and manslaughter.
Strangulation laws in Australia
Non-fatal strangulation is a crime across Australia.
The Victorian Government tabled legislation in October that would add prison sentences of up to 10 years for non-fatal strangulation. Draft laws passed the state’s lower house last week.
South Australia also plans on reforming its strangulation laws, after a review found current laws lacked clarity which made it harder to convict perpetrators.
NSW Opposition Leader Mark Speakman told TDA his Shadow Cabinet was yet to formally consider the legislation.
However, he called strangulation a “serious act of violence” and a “red flag” for risk of future domestic violence deaths.