A step forward on Strangulation Bill

SC Senate Committee will receive testimony for the first time on need to make strangulation-suffocation illegal
A woman who is strangled once is 800% more likely to be killed later.

STATE: The Strangulation Bill for South Carolina  (S-172) will be presented to the Senate Judiciary Committee at the date and location below 

This will be the first time testimony will be offered to the committee on this bill.  

All who are in support are encouraged to be present!!!   We need this to save lives in SC!!!  It will give medical, law enforcement and others the tools needed to address this deadly form of assault.    Attached is the current wording of the bill and short justification for the bill is also attached.    Please forward and share.


Wednesday, March 7

  11:00 am – Gressette Building Room 207 -- Judiciary Subcommittee on S.172,



Strangulation Bill  S-172


Forty Eight other states have a felony strangulation law but South Carolina is one of five that do not.  Why is this law desperately needed?  Crime victims, law enforcement, medical professionals, prosecutors and the courts are not fully informed on the dangers of this assault.  Training is currently being conducted across South Carolina on this issue; however, current laws do not effectively address the seriousness of this type of assault.

National Strangulation Data

Victims of Strangulation can die days or weeks after a strangulation event due to medical complications with the 




Blood clots


A woman who is strangled once is 800% more likely to be killed later

4 out 5 domestic violence homicides had a history of strangulation preceding death

Strangulation victims rarely have external injuries 

Strangulation injuries are mostly internal 

Strangulation causes permanent brain damage

Even with no loss of consciousness there is risk of death

Loss of consciousness can happen in 5 to 10 seconds and death within minutes 

Very little pressure is needed to strangle an adult or child

80% of critical incidents where police officers were shot or had to shoot an offender involved suspects who had a history of domestic violence.  30% of those offenders also have histories of strangulation.  

Strangulation is the # 1 indicator of future lethal violence 

The majority of mass shooters have a history of domestic violence, many who strangled their partners. 


Further information can be found here at the Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention:  https://www.strangulationtraininginstitute.com/resources/library/signs-and-symptoms-of-strangulation/


What would the law do?  The lives of children, women, men and law enforcement will be saved by this law when we properly acknowledge that act of strangulation can be just as lethal as being shot.  Acts of Strangulation are clear indicators that homicide is imminent! Holding strangulation offenders accountable for their actions prevents repeated assaults that cause permanent and in many cases irreversible injuries to the brain.


PREVIOUS - Oct. 18, 2017:


Strangulation leaves lasting health

issues, “Remember” audience told


By Vic MacDonald, Editor


Direct action to combat the violent acts of strangulation and suffocation was urged last Tuesday as people gather to remember the late Emily-Anna Asbill.

Her family and friends, sorority sisters from Presbyterian College, law enforcement officers and victims’ advocates, and others heard a call for action on a SC Senate bill, S-172, an anti-strangulation and suffocation bill pending in the General Assembly - 45 of 50 states in the nation have a law like this, but not South Carolina.

Meanwhile, the state ranks #5 highest in the nation in the ratio (per 100,000 people) of women killed by men.

After EA was murdered, her mom, Emily Joy, said to local law enforcement officer Michael Polson, “We’ve got to do something.”

They have organized events here, attended and spoken at events in Columbia and Charleston, testified before the General Assembly and traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with members of Congress. The EA’s Love for Life Foundation was born from those efforts. 

The local foundation assists women in Laurens County who want to escape abusive relationships.

“This lady inspires me to keep going,” Polson said of Joy.

Featured speaker for the evening event was Karin Ho, a sexual assault and domestic violence counselor from Ohio who is working in South Carolina women’s prisons. She told a harrowing tale of how, at age 17, she was kidnapped, sexually assaulted and strangled by a 52-year-old male stranger.

“I’m the other 9%,” she said. Statistics show that 91% of women attacked by men are victimized by someone they already know.

Ho said because she was strangled, she has trouble swallowing and breathing, her eyesight is getting progressively worse, and she falls all the time, breaking her ankle six times. “All these years later,” she said, “I am still having serious medical issues from my attack. We know strangulation can lead to strokes. I’m 45 and six or seven years ago, I had a stroke.

“By chance, I am standing here today and EA is not. It’s not because I am better. It is God’s will and chance.”

Ho said there has been serious misunderstanding among law enforcement about strangulation. Because victims cannot remember things, they are seen as not credible. Strangulation victims also can suffer injuries that seem strange to the untrained eye. She said, “It’s not uncommon for victims to give themselves injuries - serious, clawing injuries - pulling away from what’s strangling them.”

Ho said she was kidnapped in daylight from a bank parking lot across from the courthouse in her Ohio town. Her assailant had been released from prison after serving a sentence for raping teenage girls.

“This time, he decided he wasn’t going to let his victim live, and go back to prison,” she said. Ho said she finally halted the attacks by grabbing the man in a vulnerable spot - “I could feel his flesh ripping from his body by my fingertips. I wouldn’t hurt a fly. But I was fighting for my life.”

Ho said a strangulation victim can die 36 hours after being strangled with no visible injury.

She urged anyone in an abusive relationship to get out and get help. “My assailant strangled me multiple times in multiple ways, and that was just one day. I can’t imagine being in a domestic violence relationship where that goes on every day. They say they will change, but they won’t until they get help, are in prison, or they are dead.”


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