Office of the DeKalb County District Attorney

Stone Mountain Judicial Circuit

Sherry Boston, District Attorney


October 11, 2022

First Responders and Criminal Justice Partners to Gather and Learn About this Lethal, Often Misunderstood Crime

Decatur, Ga.- In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, District Attorney Sherry Boston is turning the spotlight on the dangers of strangulation by hosting a specialized training on the topic for first responders and criminal justice partners. “Domestic Violence Strangulation: Identifying, Investigating & Prosecuting,” will feature leading experts in the field of non-fatal strangulation and suffocation assaults in intimate partner violence cases.

Strangulation has been identified as one of the most lethal forms of domestic violence and sexual assault: unconsciousness may occur within seconds and death within minutes. When domestic violence perpetrators strangle their victims, especially to the point of unconsciousness, it is not only a felony but it may be an attempted homicide. According to the Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention, “A woman who has suffered a nonfatal strangulation incident with her intimate partner is 750% more likely to be killed by the same perpetrator…with a gun.” 1

“Strangulation is one of the most terrifying experiences a person can have, but it is often an ‘invisible’ injury,” said District Attorney Boston. “The internal injuries and neurological impacts of strangulation can be devastating, if not deadly. We have a duty to learn the nuances and consequences of this extreme measure of power and control, and I believe that equipping first responders and fellow members of the criminal justice system with this knowledge will save lives.”

Professionals handling sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse or human trafficking cases have been invited to attend, and the training will include more than 200 law enforcement officials, 911 dispatchers, prosecutors, court staff, judges and advocates. The event will take place at Saint Philip AME Church, 240 Candler Rd. SE, Atlanta, GA, and invitees were given the opportunity to attend on Thursday, October 13 or Friday, October 14.

The training, facilitated by the Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention, in partnership with the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office, will cover the following topics:
    • understanding the lethality of strangulation;
    • the link to other crimes, police shootings and mass murders;
    • identifying the signs and symptoms of strangulation cases;
    • anatomy and medical aspects in surviving and non-surviving victims;
    • investigating and documenting domestic violence and sexual assault strangulation cases;
    • survivor accounts;
    • legal aspects of strangulation cases with surviving victims;
    • developing and using experts in court; and
    • advocating for traumatized victims.

The training is sponsored by DeKalb County District 5 Commissioner Mereda Davis Johnson.


If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse in a relationship, call 911 if there is immediate danger. If there is not immediate danger, please call the toll-free 24-hour Georgia Statewide Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-33-HAVEN (4-2836) voice/TTY in Georgia.