Proposed Offence of Strangulation


Woman being abused and strangled by a manThe Queensland Government has indicated that it will this week, introduce a new offence of  non-fatal strangulation.  The offence will be introduced into the Queensland Criminal Code and will be a strand alone offence not limited by association to any other crime.

 The creation of a specific offence of strangulation was a recommendation of the Special Taskforce on Domestic Violence report Not Now, Not Ever: Putting an End to Domestic Violence in Queensland.  The report called for the new offence after apparently identifying a gap in the Criminal Code.

The report went on the indicate that “strangulation is a very common feature of Domestic and Family Violence and is also seen as a predictive risk factor for future more severe Domestic and Family Violence and for Homicide?”

Currently a person alleged to be choking, strangling or suffocating a person would be charged with an offence of Assault which is made out where a person strikes, touches, or moves, or otherwise applies force of any kind to, the person of another, either directly or indirectly.  

Common assault attracts a maximum penalty of three (3) years imprisonment, although fines and other penalties are often applied.  The proposed maximum penalty for the new offence will be seven (7) years.