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Prosecutors, Paramedics Training to Recognize Domestic Violence Strangulation

Monroe County prosecutors handled 50 strangulation cases in 2017.

It’s hard to get domestic violence survivors to describe their experiences. It’s often re-traumatizing to talk about it, even among people they trust.

Chidinma was waiting on a judge to sign her divorce papers when her estranged husband showed up at her house one night with a handgun and a machete. For nearly two hours, he screamed, pistol whipped, punched, and sexually assaulted her. He also strangled her.

Chidinma shared her story through Kelsey McKay, a former Texas Assistant District Attorney who built her career prosecuting domestic violence and strangulation cases. McKay now educates first responders, prosecutors, and others on how best to approach non-fatal strangulation victims.

Monroe County Prosecutor Chris Gaal and Middle Way House Executive Director Debra Morrow teamed up to bring McKay to Bloomington for a seminar at IU Health Bloomington Hospital last month. As WFHB Assistant News Director Sarah Vaughn reports, with the state of Indiana now prosecuting strangulation as a felony, it’s more important than ever for first responders and prosecutors to understand how to identify and pursue strangulation cases.

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