Last month, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law a bill (A4588/S2503) elevating assault by strangulation of a domestic violence victim under N.J.S.A 2C:12-1b.(13) from a third degree crime to a second degree crime.
For survivors of intimate partner violence, this is a step forward in delivering protection and justice. However, there’s clearly still more work to be done. Strangulation is one of the strongest predictors of a future domestic violence homicide, yet a disturbing legal loophole still persists around the crime: the so-called “rough sex defense.”
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