One recent morning, I both read a story in this paper and watched a story on local news about separate domestic violence cases, where the perpetrator was accused of “choking” his victim.

Did the perpetrator stick his fingers down his victim’s throat? No. He most likely placed his hands around her throat and squeezed to the point of cutting off breath or blood flow to the head.

This is strangulation, not choking. I get most will use the slang term of choking in describing this type of event but professional journalists and television broadcasters should not use the slang term and call it what it is: strangulation.

One recent broadcast reported a perpetrator attempted to strangle his victim. If his hands were on her throat and it interfered with her ability to breathe, then he did strangle her. Death need not occur for someone to be strangled.

The Maine Legislature recognized the lethality of domestic cases when strangulation occurs and enhanced the level of penalty for cases involving strangulation. You choke on food or foreign objects lodged in your throat. Squeezing a persons throat to cut off air or blood is strangulation, pure and simple.

It will serve all citizens, particularly victims of domestic violence, to get this right.

Steven Edmondson