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An Online Resource Library on Gender-Based Violence.

Media Guide: Choking versus Strangulation

General Material

This guide aims to help reporters, copywriters, headline writers, and editors understand the distinction between choking – an accidental internal obstruction of the airway, and strangulation – a tactic of control and abuse. The appropriate usage of these terms is beyond mere semantic accuracy or labels. When journalists correctly utilize the term “strangulation,” they increase the public’s familiarity with a specific form of abuse and acknowledge the severe short and long-term consequences of this type of violence. Portraying abuse accurately reflects your concern for both the victim’s experience and public’s response to domestic violence. It also reflects awareness that these acts were taken by a perpetrator and not an accident.