A free on-demand e-learning module accessible to clinical members of MEDSAC. Membership exclusions: Affiliate - Crisis Worker / General / International (Non-Clinical); Associate - SAATS Administrator / Non-Clinical


Family violence, including intimate partner violence, is affecting the health of many people in New Zealand. Non-fatal strangulation occurring within intimate relationships has been recognised internationally as a high risk factor for future harm, including death.

There has been a change to the law so that non-fatal strangulation is recognised with a specific criminal charge. Police acknowledge that although victims may not necessarily have visible injuries, a medical assessment will be useful to identify potential health consequences.

With the change in the law, doctors need to be aware of the symptoms and signs found in patients presenting in primary and secondary care following non-fatal strangulation. This course aims to inform and educate in assessment, documentation and care for such patients.

Course objectives

  • To raise awareness of Non-Fatal Strangulation.
  • To improve understanding of injuries and basic injury description.
  • To develop a standard approach to patient evaluation, resulting in better-quality clinical notes.
  • To assist the creation of a factual, medicolegal report for a doctor writing as a professional (not expert) witness.
  • To improve knowledge and enable better care and potentially reduce risk of serious sequelae.

Time commitment

Estimated time required: 1-2 hours