Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Hosts Panel of Nationally Recognized Experts on Domestic/Sexual Violence Strangulation Cases

News Release from: Clackamas Co. Sheriff's Office
October 7, 2014, 6:30 p.m.


Media and Interested Parties


PDF flyer: Identifying, Investigating and Prosecuting Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Strangulation Cases

NOTE: For our Sept. 9 press release announcing this training, click here.

[Oregon City, OR] Recognizing the lethality and health impacts of strangulation crimes, the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office is hosting a training facilitated by the Strangulation Training Institute, a program of the San Diego-based Family Justice Center Alliance, on October 7 and 8, 2014 at the Providence Willamette Falls Community Education Center.

The training will be taught by a panel of three nationally recognized experts in strangulation cases in the context of domestic violence and sexual assault: Gael Strack, J.D., Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of the National Family Justice Center Alliance; Casey Gwinn, J.D., President of the National Family Justice Center Alliance; and Ralph J. Riviello, MD, MS, FACEP, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine.

The training, designed for domestic violence service professionals, medical and health care providers and criminal justice professionals, will assist attendees in identifying, investigating and prosecuting domestic violence and sexual assault strangulation cases.

"Today, more than 10% of the women killed each year in this country are strangled, and the lack of external injuries and the lack of medical training for domestic violence professionals has minimized the focus on this type of violence," stated Gael Strack, CEO of the Family Justice Center Alliance.

Strangulation has been identified as one of the most lethal forms of domestic violence and sexual assault: unconsciousness may occur within seconds and death within minutes. When domestic violence perpetrators choke (strangle) their victims, not only is this felonious assault, but it may be an attempted homicide. Strangulation is an ultimate form of power and control where the batterer can demonstrate control over the victim's next breath: it may have devastating psychological effects or a potentially fatal outcome.

"Strangling or choking is such a dangerous and often overlooked form of domestic and sexual violence," said Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts. "The better equipped law enforcement and first responders are, the more successful we will be in protecting victims of this egregious crime."

"Most domestic violence offenders who strangle their partners without killing them want the victim to know they can kill them so they will live with the knowledge of their partner's lethality day and night," stated Casey Gwinn, President of the National Family Justice Center Alliance. "But the abuser does not want to kill them or cause great bodily injury. Now, we can help hold these violent abusers accountable before they kill," said Gwinn.

Sheriff Craig Roberts would like to thank the following for their assistance in bringing this much needed training to Oregon: The Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST), the Clackamas County Criminal Justice Training Council, Lake Oswego Police Chief Don Johnson, and Providence Health & Services.

About A Safe Place Family Justice Center for Clackamas County:

A Safe Place Family Justice Center for Clackamas County ( ) is our community's collective response to adults and children impacted by family violence. Our mission is to provide hope and empower healing through a team of dedicated partners offering and continually improving an integrated and comprehensive range of services in a safe, warm, supportive and sustainable place. On-site partners include Abuse Recovery Ministries Services, Catholic Charities El Programa Hispano - Project UNICA, Clackamas County Health, Housing and Human Services, Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, Clackamas County District Attorney's Office - Victim Assistance Program, Clackamas Women's Services, Legal Aid Services of Oregon, Los Ninos Cuentan and Oregon Department of Human Services Adult Protective Services.

About the Strangulation Training Institute:

The Strangulation Training Institute is a program of the Family Justice Center Alliance ( ). The Strangulation Training Institute is funded by the U.S. Department of Justice to provide proactive basic and advanced strangulation training to domestic violence service providers, along with resource and support programs to increase education and current training tools to aid strangulation victims.


News-release archive

Contact Info:
Lt. Angela Brandenburg
Clackamas County Sheriff's Office
Gael Strack, CEO, National Family Justice Center Alliance
Casey Gwinn, President, Family Justice Center Alliance

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