People who strangle partners face 14 years’ prison under LNP plan


Her boyfriend, Rhys Austin, was found to be mentally unfit to stand trial and was committed to a psychiatric hospital.

Ms Frecklington believes it is time for the laws to be strengthened and has asked a parliamentary committee to launch an inquiry into doubling the maximum sentence for strangulation from seven to 14 years.

Family and friends gather around Bianca Girven’s mother Sonia Anderson in 2010. Credit:Michelle Smith

“Strangulation is a terrifying and brutal crime that is one step away from murder,” Ms Frecklington said.

“Queensland’s strangulation laws must be strengthened to protect domestic violence victims from this sickening crime.”

Research by Professor Heather Douglas of the University of Queensland found women subjected to attempted strangulation by their partners were eight times more likely to be murdered than other women.

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As well as psychological trauma, non-lethal strangulation can cause memory loss, miscarriage and permanent damage to vision, hearing and vocal cords.

Ms Frecklington would also like to see the offence reclassified as a “serious violent offence” to ensure those sentenced to 10 or more years would automatically serve 80 per cent of their sentence.

“Just consider for a moment what it must be like to be a victim of strangulation,” she told Parliament on Wednesday.

“Think what it must be like to be pinned down by a much stronger partner, to feel their hands on your neck … gripping your throat.

“Imagine the terror that you would feel in those circumstances, the fear you would have for your life,” Ms Frecklington said.

“No one, no one should have to suffer that. We must protect victims of domestic violence from this terrible crime.”

The bill was referred to the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee for consideration.

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