Telltale sign that could jail more DV offenders
POLICE would be trained to better identify and respond to acts of non-lethal strangulation by domestic violence perpetrators, under a proposal to lock up more offenders.
And the use of clinical forensic evidence would be looked at by Queensland Health and police to find ways of improving processes when it comes to securing strangulation convictions.
GPs would also be asked to look at ways to better detect signs of non-lethal strangulation when treating domestic violence victims and respond.
The proposals are among 13 recommendations handed to the State Government by the Domestic and Family Violence Death Review and Advisory Board yesterday.
Set-up two years ago, the Board's recommendations come after an in-depth review of 30 domestic and family violence deaths, most of which happened between 2015 and 2017.
Harrowing case studies released in its report yesterday reveal instances where warning signs of victims' impending violent deaths were overlooked or not adequately responded to.
It highlighted one case in which police and paramedics focused on getting a perpetrator to hospital for mental health treatment, but dismissed the victim's injuries.
"They were dismissive of the physical impact of this near-lethal strangulation episode, including the victim losing consciousness for a period of time," the board reported.
Non-lethal strangulation was identified as one of the top risk factors in cases where people were later killed by their partners, appearing in 12 out of the 30 deaths examined.
The board found non-lethal strangulation was also associated with increased levels of sexual jealousy, prior threats to kill the victim, hostage taking and other violence.
"This highlights the need for all service providers to be adequately equipped to identify and respond to non-lethal strangulation," it says in its report, adding more needs to be done.
In one case, a woman in her 40s was killed by her husband while he was on bail after his earlier arrest for a "severe and prolonged physical assault" which included strangulation.
The Palaszczuk Government passed laws making non-fatal strangulation a specific offence under the state's criminal code in April 2016, making it the first to do so in Australia.
In 2017-18, more than 834 people were charged with strangulation offences and more than 1700 people have been charged with the offence since the laws were introduced.
The majority of offenders convicted were jailed.
The Government is considering its response to the recommendations.