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6/20/2012 Strangulation bills receive governor’s signature
STATE HOUSE – With approval from the governor, legislation has been enacted to make domestic assault by strangulation a felony punishable by up to 10 years of imprisonment.

Rep. Roberto DaSilva (D-Dist. 63, East Providence, Pawtucket) and Sen. Frank A. DeVall Jr. (D-Dist. 18, East Providence) sponsored the legislation (2012-H 7242A, 2012-S 2147Aaa).

Most recent figures show more than 10 percent of all homicide deaths among women in the United States are due to strangulation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 3.5 percent of all violence-related homicides – involving both men and women – in 2007 were caused by strangulation. Further, there are at least 30 states in the nation, including New Hampshire, New York and Vermont, which have passed similar legislation.

The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV) 2011 Annual Report points out that 9,694 domestic violence victims used services that year. From 2010 to 2011, the state saw its highest number of domestic violence deaths since the coalition first began keeping records in the 1980s. The coalition strongly supported this legislation.

Co-sponsoring the House legislation are Representatives Elaine A. Coderre (D-Dist. 60, Pawtucket), Deborah Ruggiero (D-Dist. 74, Jamestown, Middletown), Donna M. Walsh (D-Dist. 36, Charlestown, New Shoreham, South Kingstown) and Raymond H. Johnston Jr. (D-Dist. 61, Pawtucket). Co-sponsors of the Senate legislation include Senators Elizabeth A. Crowley (D-Dist. 16, Central Falls, Cumberland, Pawtucket) and John J. Tassoni Jr. (D-Dist. 22, Smithfield, North Smithfield).

For more information, contact:
Brenna McCabe, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 222-2457