Domestic violence crimes

The Herald reports:

An ‘attempted strangulation’ charge may be introduced by Justice Minister Judith Collins in a bid to tackle .

The act of attempted strangulation is often a precursor to murder in domestic violence situations, the minister said, and it needed to be treated more seriously.

“One of the suggestions from the family violence group that’s been looking at it, is that we bring in a new law around attempted strangulation,” she told TV One’s Q+A programme.

“So when we’ve got people who are being strangled and partly strangled in their home, that is an indicator that the person who’s doing it is actually going to go on and kill them. And we need to treat that much more seriously than we do.”

Such a crime on the books seems a useful, albeit, sad thing. I guess a case can be made for attempted murder to be the charge in all such cases but proving beyond reasonable doubt that a strangulation was going to continue and kill would be difficult often.  But with attempted strangulation you won’t need to prove what the final intent was, just that some strangulation occurred.

Most domestic violence penalties were tough enough to deal with the crime, Ms Collins said, with perpetrators being treated “as anybody else” on charges such as murder or grievous bodily harm. But a charge of male assaults female may not be reflective of the seriousness of the crime.

I think that crime should be removed from the books. We should have a range of assaults defined in law, but they should be defined based on the seriousness of the assault, not on the gender of the assailant and victim.

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