Departmental Papers (SPP)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version



Strangulation is a unique and particularly pernicious form of intimate partner violence. To increase the relatively little that is known about strangulation survivors, focus groups and interviews were conducted as part of a practice–research engagement with a domestic violence shelter. All of the participants had been strangled and, among them, almost all were strangled multiple times. The loss of consciousness was common. Participants associated “choking” with use of body parts and “strangling” with use of objects. Although some minimized the assault, most considered strangulation to be serious and reported a variety of medical conditions following the assault. Few sought medical care. Of those who did, few disclosed the assault, or were asked about strangulation, which commonly resulted in misdirected treatment. Implications for improving detection and treatment are discussed.


Joshi, M., Thomas, K. A., & Sorenson, S. B. (2012). "I didn't know I could turn colors": Health problems and health care experiences of women strangled by an intimate partner. Social Work in Health Care, 51(9), 798-814. doi: 10.1080/00981389.2012.692352


women, strangulation, choking, intimate partner violence, health, practice-research engagement



Date Posted: 05 August 2014

This document has been peer reviewed.