MEDSAC is delighted to be hosting a national, cross-sector, ‘Rough Sex’/'Choking'/Strangulation Symposium in Te Whanga-nui-a-Tara Wellington on the 29th of November 2024.

The objectives of the symposium are:

  • to raise national cross-sector awareness and understanding around the rise in ‘rough sex’, ‘choking’ and strangulation and discuss current trends, challenges, and risks in Aotearoa New Zealand;
  • to explore some of the social, legal, and medical contexts and issues;
  • to initiate a conversation around an informed and consistent cross-sector response. Also, with a view to phase 2, as a wider public awareness campaign.

MEDSAC is facilitating the development of this symposium in collaboration with additional organising rōpū members:

  • Nikki Denholm (Project Director, The Light Project)
  • Samantha Keene (Lecturer in Criminology, Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington)
  • Nicola Gavey (Professor Psychology, Waipapa Taumata Rau University of Auckland)
  • Melanie Beres (Associate Professor in Sociology, Ōtākou Whakaihu Waka University of Otago)

The first step towards programme development was a facilitated cross sector online consultation hui held in January 2024. We invited experts across the sector to brainstorm potential presenters and panel members. The overwhelming response from the engaged stakeholders has been that this symposium is urgently needed.

Please contact MEDSAC ( if you would like to be kept informed about this Symposium as details are finalised.