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Advocate highlights signs of potentially lethal attack

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

A former police officer who has become a noted advocate for reducing domestic violence is in Whanganui this week running workshops at the hospital.

Rob Veale served in the New Zealand Police for 30 years, with most of his service leading national policy and practice in the area of family violence reduction.

He is now an adviser and lecturer, specialising in providing family harm expertise to government agencies, local government, social service providers, health professionals and community groups in New Zealand and throughout the Pacific.

His work saw him recognised as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2006 New Year’s Honours.

On Wednesday, 5 August, he will present workshops on strangulation in the context of intimate partner violence at the hospital’s lecture theatre. The morning session is for community agencies and the afternoon session for Whanganui District Health Board staff.

DHB Violence Intervention Programme Co-ordinator Tracey Cossey is delighted to have Veale speak to staff and other agencies.

"He offers great insight into a particularly dangerous and distressing aspect of intimate partner violence," she said.

"Strangulation is frequently minimised by professionals and victims alike due to no obvious injuries. This reinforces coercive and controlling behaviour of the perpetrator of the violence. "Of women who experience intimate partner violence, 10 per cent experience attempted strangulation by their partner."

Strangulation is the obstruction of blood vessels and/or airflow in the neck resulting in asphyxia. Loss of consciousness can occur within 5-10 seconds; death within 4-5 minutes. It is considered "a red flag on the trajectory to homicide".

"It is critical that agencies, professionals and the wider community recognise the signs, symptoms and dynamics associated with strangulation in the context of intimate partner violence," said Cossey.

"Rob’s training is essential for all first responders and organisations who work with people to ensure that those who disclose strangulation are never minimised."

All profits from the workshops will be donated to Women’s Refuge.

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