Choking during sex without consent could become illegal under new domestic abuse law in the UK.
Also called erotic asphyxiation, it involves the intentional restriction of oxygen to the brain for sexual arousal.
According to The Telegraph, proposals have now been made in the UK to make nonconsensual choking a criminal offence after new evidence showed that one in five sex assault victims are strangled by their partner.
Currently, choking is punishable under common assault law and results in a maximum of six months in jail. But campaigners say not many are prosecuted as they pretend choking and throttling is part of consensual sex play.
Since strangulation rarely leaves the sign of injury and is often dismissed by police, they claim that categorising it as common assault alongside slaps underestimates the “terror and near-death experience” inflicted on the victim.
It is understood that Baroness Newlove, the UK government’s former victims’ commissioner, is to present an amendment (to the Lords) that would make non-fatal strangulation a singular offence.
“It is a very frequently used and very effective way of terrifying somebody. It is a very frightening tool of coercive control,” the news outlet quoted her as saying.
“For the same price as a tiny slap, you let her know you are in control but with only the risk of a tiny mark so police never take notice of it.”
In 2018, a third of UK women murdered were either strangled or suffocated as opposed to three percent for males.
After stabbing, choking was found to be the second most common death for female victims of domestic violence. It was described as a “red flag” for homicide, with choking attacks on women increasing death risk by 700 percent.