Law Enforcement Training Details


Domestic Violence and Strangulation Training for Law Enforcement

Domestic Violence: The Incident, the Victim, and the Abuser


Problem Statement: 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner[i].  Currently in Ohio, strangulation is not a felony. Only 15 percent of all strangulation cases leave injuries that are photographable6.  This leaves difficulty for the prosecution of cases. Almost half of all domestic violence homicide victims had experienced at least one episode of attempted strangulation prior to a lethal or near lethal violent incident. [ii]  Victims of prior attempted strangulation are 7 times more likely of becoming a homicide victim.6  Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime[iii]. Having a gun in the home increases the risk of homicide by at least 500%[iv].

For Ohio, in 2010, there were 70,717 calls for domestic violence incidents, including those incidents in which no charges were filed. Of these, 47.4 percent resulted in domestic violence, protection order, or consent agreement charges being filed. Approximately 10 percent resulted in other charges being filed, and 43 percent resulted in no charges being filed (or the incident did not meet domestic violence criteria)[v]  Standing Courageous currently serves fourteen counties in Northwest Ohio with their programs.  In 2016, those Counties had 10,267 domestic violence calls in which 21 percent resulted in no charge.[vi] Domestic violence is a serious social, criminal, and civil justice issue in Northwest Ohio.   In 2017, our media stories have been plagued with domestic abuse and domestic homicide stories.

Medical training for the identification of domestic violence injuries, including strangulation, for police, prosecutors, and advocates is often overlooked and not included in core training.Statistics show a link between domestic violence/strangulation and mass killers.  “Research has now made clear that when a man puts his hands around a woman, he has just raised his hand and said, “I’m a killer.” They are more likely to kill police officers, to kill children, and to later kill their partners. So, when you hear “He choked me”, now we know you are the edge of a homicide.” – Casey Gwinn, Esq., President of Alliance for HOPE International and Co-Director of Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention.  It is crucial for Law Enforcement Officers to understand the link between strangulation and murderers.


Project Description:  We provide Law Enforcement Officers and supporting staff with an in depth look at not only domestic violence incidents but also the psychology of the victim and the abuser.  We provide education on the conditioned victim and the malignant narcissist so officers can better anticipate scene/safety concerns and potential future threats to communities.  The training provides an in depth look at strangulations, its pathophysiology, and alternative signs and symptoms to document to provide quicker medical interventions and reduce potential long-term consequences.  We provide real case studies as well as survivor testimonies so officers can better understand real life circumstances.


Goals and Objectives: 

  • Officers can apply learned strangulation investigation tools and picture techniques immediately after training and be better equipped for on stand testimonies.
  • That in our 1 year follow up every officer can report that they have used the materials we have provided in each domestic violence case they are called upon.
  • That on each domestic violence call, officers are better equipped to immediately recognize the potential scene safety concerns for victims, themselves, and community members.
  • That officers can recognize the malignant narcissist and patterned behaviors to better recognize potential serial/mass killers as well as future murderers.
  • That officers are more empathetic to victims while understanding the patterns that most victims follow.
  • That officers have a better understanding of domestic violence incidents, abusers, and victims and confidently handle them.
  • That officers better understand strangulation and traumatic brain injury that are often the invisible injuries of domestic abuse.


[i] Black, M.C., Basile, K.C., Breiding, M.J., Smith, S.G., Walters, M.L., Merrick, M.T., Chen, J., & Stevens, M. (2011). The national intimate partner and sexual violence survey: 2010 summary report.  Retrieved from

[ii] “Review and Analysis of Laws Related to Strangulation in 50 States”, Kathryn Laughon, Nancy Glass, and Claude Worrell, Sage Publications, Vol. 33, No. 4, pp. 358-357,  2008

[iii] Truman, J. & Morgan, R. (2014). Nonfatal domestic violence, 2003-2012.  Retrieved from

[iv] Campbell, J.C., Webster, D., Koziol-McLain, J., Block, C., Campbell, D., Curry, M. A., Gary, F., Glass, N., McFarlane, J., Sachs, C., Sharps, P., Ulrich, Y., Wilt, S., Manganello, J., Xu, X., Schollenberger, J., Frye, V., & Lauphon, K. (2003).  Risk factors for femicide in abusive relationships: Results from a multisite case control study.  American Journal of Public Health, 93(7), 1089-1097.

[v] Ohio Attorney General’s Office, 2010 Domestic Violence Report. (n.d.). Retrieved from  ii Attorney General of Ohio, BCI&I, 2013 Domestic Violence Reports. Retrieved from