Native News Network Staff in Native Health. Discussion »
COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA The Department of Justice's National Indian Country Training Initiative, NICTI, partnered with the National Strangulation Training Institute to deliver the first ever national Indian Country training on the investigation and prosecution of non fatal strangulation and suffocation offenses.
The training, held from January 29 - February 1, drew attendance from over 50 federal and tribal participants, representing 17 tribes, US Attorney's Offices, the FBI and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Students included prosecutors, law enforcement, advocates, paramedics and sexual assault nurse examiners.
The training, held at the National Advocacy Center in Columbia, South Carolina, provided an in-depth examination of the mechanics of strangulation and suffocation from a medical, legal and law enforcement perspective. In addition to substantive information on strangulation and suffocation, students received information on how to effectively train others in their community about the investigation and prosecution of strangulation crimes and how to serve as an expert witness on the issue in court.
“Strangulation has been identified as one of the most lethal forms of domestic violence and sexual assault. Expert training in this area is critical as external signs of strangulation are absent in over half of all victims. Death can occur without any external marks at all,”
said Leslie A. Hagen, National Indian Country Training Coordinator.
“If we can prevent even one homicide by early prosecution of an abuser when he strangles his partner and she survives, all our work will be worth it,”
said Gael Strack, the Project Director of the National Strangulation Training Institute and CEO of the National Family Justice Center Alliance.
“ When men choke women, those men might as well be raising their right hand and saying "I am a killer" to everyone that is paying attention,”
said Casey Gwinn, President of the National Family Justice Center Alliance and faculty at this week's training.
“After 20 years of research and practice, it is clear that men who choke women are the same men who are likely to later kill those women, kill children, and kill police officers.”
posted February 5, 2013 8:50 am est