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There are several myths and misconceptions surrounding strangulation in the context of domestic violence. It's important to dispel these myths and understand the facts to better address the seriousness of this issue. Here are some common myths and the corresponding facts:

Myth 1: Strangulation is not a serious form of violence.

Fact: Strangulation is an extremely serious and potentially lethal form of violence. It can lead to immediate unconsciousness and serious physical and psychological consequences, even if it doesn't leave visible marks.

Myth 2: If someone is strangled, they will always have visible marks on their neck.

Fact: While visible marks like bruising might occur, they aren't always present. Strangulation can cause internal injuries without leaving external signs, making it even more dangerous as the severity might not be immediately apparent.

Myth 3: If someone can speak after being strangled, they're fine.

Fact: Just because someone can speak doesn't mean they're safe. Strangulation can cause brain damage due to oxygen deprivation, even if the person can talk afterward.

Myth 4: Strangulation is an impulsive act that doesn't predict future violence.

Fact: Research shows that non-fatal strangulation is a strong predictor of future lethal violence in domestic violence cases. It's often a sign that the abuser is willing to escalate to more deadly forms of violence.

Myth 5: Strangulation is only a problem if it causes death.

Fact: Strangulation is a serious crime and can cause life-altering injuries even if the victim survives. The physical and psychological impact can be profound.

Myth 6: Strangulation is always done with bare hands.

Fact: Strangulation can occur using various body parts, cords, or even objects like belts or ropes. The method used doesn't diminish the seriousness of the act.

Myth 7: Only physically strong abusers can strangle someone.

Fact: Strangulation doesn't solely depend on physical strength. It's about the intent to control and harm, and abusers of any size or gender can commit this act.

Myth 8: Victims of strangulation are always aware of the danger.

Fact: Victims might not fully realize the life-threatening nature of strangulation. Fear, shock, and confusion can cloud their judgment and awareness in the moment.

Myth 9: Strangulation is a form of passion or love gone wrong.

Fact: Strangulation is an act of violence and control. It's not a sign of love or affection but rather a display of power and abuse.

Myth 10: It's easy for victims of strangulation to leave the relationship.

Fact: Leaving an abusive relationship is complex and difficult due to various factors like emotional manipulation, financial dependence, fear of retaliation, and more.

Understanding the facts about strangulation is crucial for recognizing the severity of domestic violence and ensuring that appropriate actions are taken to protect survivors and prevent future harm. 

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger please call 911. Contact the San Joaquin County Family Justice Center at

209-468-2600 for assistance. Your safety is our priority.

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