Strangulation has been identified as one of the most lethal forms of domestic violence and sexual assault: unconsciousness may occur within seconds and death within minutes. When domestic violence perpetrators choke (strangle) their victims, not only is this 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: it may have devastating psychological effects or a potentially fatal outcome.
The Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention (Institute), a program of Alliance for HOPE International, was launched in October 2011. The Institute was developed in response to the increasing demand for Intimate Partner Violence Strangulation Crimes training and technical assistance (consulting, planning and support services) from communities across the world.
The Institute provides training, technical assistance, web-based education programs, a directory of national trainers and experts, and a clearinghouse of all research related to domestic violence and sexual assault strangulation crimes.
The goals of the Institute are to:
Enhance the knowledge and understanding of professionals working with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault who are strangled; Improve policy and practice among the legal, medical, and advocacy communities; Maximize capacity and expertise; Increase offender accountability; and ultimately enhance victim safety.
What We Do
The Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention (Institute) is a program of Alliance for HOPE International. The Institute was launched with support from the United States Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women. The Institute provides consulting, training, resources, and support services to professionals working in the fields of domestic violence and sexual assault.
The Institute provides the most current and up-to-date curriculum on strangulation crimes from a multi-disciplinary perspective. Our trainings have been recognized throughout the country as the premier source for information related to strangulation and we have been featured for our work in dozens of articles and media outlets from the New York Times, USA Today, Cosmopolitan Magazine, the Domestic Violence Report and more!
Attendees of our trainings learn how to: identify the signs and symptoms of non-fatal strangulation cases; understand and recognize the anatomy and medical aspects of surviving and non-surviving victims; investigate and document cases for prosecution; prosecute cases, including using experts in court; and, most importantly, enhance victim safety through trauma-informed advocacy services. Our courses are flexible and can be structured to meet the needs of each individual jurisdiction
Outcomes from past training sessions reflect an increased awareness in cases involving strangulation; improved documentation and investigation of strangulation cases; increased prosecution of strangulation cases; and increased offender accountability and victim safety.
The Institute trains over 8,000 professionals per year on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Strangulation Crimes.
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National Advisory Board and Committees for the Institute
Our National Advisory Board includes experts, physicians, nurses, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, advocates, researchers and trainers from the United States who are listed on our website. The Board has developed a 5-year plan for our Institute which was submitted to the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women. Read the report here.
We currently have several committees working on many key issues. Our Medical Committee is led by Dr. William Smock and Dr. Williams Green. Together, they are working on pediatrics, pregnancy, case study collection, maintaining and updating our strangulation bibliography, and much more. Our Medical Committee includes physicians, nurse practitioners, and forensic nurses. Our Legal Committee is led by Riverside County Assistant District Attorney Jerry Fineman and Lt. Dan Rincon of the Scottsdale, Arizona Police Department. The Legal Committee is made up of police officers, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges. The Legal Committee monitors new and existing laws, works on improving law enforcement protocols and policies, and is currently working on updated roll call video. Our Advocacy Committee is led by Michelle Morgan from One Safe Place Family Justice Center of Tarrant County, Texas. The Advocacy Committee assists with focus groups with survivors, improving trauma-informed advocacy and outreach processes, and assists existing programs with evidence-based approaches to the needs of survivors. Our Research Committee is led by Dr. Jackie Campbell and is focused on publishing new and promoting existing research related to strangulation assaults.