The Dangers of Strangulation

national domestic violence hotline

The Dangers of Strangulation

by Heather, a Hotline advocate

strangulationAt The Hotline, we often speak with people who don’t think they are being abused because they aren’t being hit, aren’t being hit with a closed fist or aren’t being physically abused on a regular or daily basis. While abuse can include frequent, violent attacks, abuse can also include monitoring your phone, restricting access to finances, controlling who you spend time with and many other behaviors that aren’t physical at all. However, one of the most serious and deadly forms of abuse is physical, but many survivors are still hesitant to label strangulation or “choking” as abusive.

The information in this article is not meant to scare you, but you deserve to know the facts so you can make the best plan to keep yourself safe. If your partner has ever put their hands around your neck, put you in a “sleeper hold” or used anything else to strangle you like a scarf, necklace, belt, rope, etc. keep reading.

Because strangulation can be very serious, symptoms of strangulation can include:

    • a sore throat
    • difficulty swallowing
    • neck pain
    • hoarseness
    • bruising on the neck or behind your ears
    • discoloration on your tongue
    • ringing in your ears
    • bloodshot eyes
    • dizziness
    • memory loss
    • drooling
    • nausea or vomiting
    • difficulty breathing
    • incontinence
    • a seizure
    • a miscarriage
    • changes in mood or personality like agitation or aggression
    • changes in sleep patterns
    • changes in vision such as blurriness or seeing double

    • fainted or lost consciousness

It’s possible to experience strangulation and show no symptoms at first but die weeks later because of brain damage due to lack of oxygen and other internal injuries. For this reason, and for a safe way to document the abuse, we strongly recommend you consider seeing a doctor if your partner has strangled or choked you. Also know that you always have the right to file a police report, press charges for an assault or seek a restraining order against someone who is choosing to be abusive towards you.

Facts You Deserve To Know:

Filling out the lethality assessment, especially with an advocate at your local domestic violence agency, can help you learn more about your personal risk from your partner. This survivor’s story talks about how long-term memories can be affected by traumatic brain injuries caused by strangulation and concussion. We know that the details of abuse can get fuzzy, sometimes from gaslighting or from the abuse itself, so if it’s safe to do so we recommend documenting as much of the abuse you’re experiencing as possible. If you need to call the doctor, The Hotline or your local domestic violence agency but making calls is dangerous for you, here are some helpful tips that might work for you.

To find a domestic violence agency near you, or for help making a plan to stay safe, please call our advocates 24/7/365. Call us at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) | 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) or chat by selecting the Chat Now button right here on our website. Chat en español 12-6 p.m. Hora Central.

Comment section

58 replies
  1. Thank you for posting this. I was attacked a couple of days ago and was choked- the person who did this ran away from his home to avoid questioning by the police. When I called 911, the operator tried asking me questions and I couldn’t answer them, all I could do was say I didn’t know and I need help. When the police arrived, the officer did ask if I had any injuries and at the time I know I said I had been choked, but they couldn’t see anything. This person was not arrested, and so far the police have not followed up with either myself or the abuser. I am concerned he is free after what he has done. I have documented the injuries and have photos.
    Since the incident, I have been having some of the issues you have posted – the sore throat, difficulty swallowing and some neck pain. I was on the fence about going to the doctor, but now I know I need to follow up. Again thank you, for posting this.
    I have a couple of questions I hope you can answer- In these incidences, is it best to go to your doctor if you have one?
    And what should I tell the doctor’s office when I call and/or see the doctor? One of the reasons I feel a little hesitant is explaining that it is a dv incident and I do not know if it will get documented correctly? I do not have insurance at the moment, so I am unsure of how much it will cost.
    Thank you again- Cha

    1. Hi Cha,

      Thank you for reaching. What you have survived is something that is very traumatic. Regardless of what your abusive ex may have said, the abuse was never your fault and something you couldn’t have caused. He made a choice to be abusive and to choke you and he is the only one to blame for that choice and any consequences that come from it. You have a right to be safe and build a life free of abuse. I want to let you know about a page at this link on documenting abuse. Having a doctors report can serve as evidence of abuse but each state and doctor may document it in different ways. If you are concerned about how that doctor will document it and the cost, you always have the option of calling ahead of time and asking those questions. If cost is a factor, there may be an affordable clinic in your area. is a hotline that can help you locate your local resources. If you would like to reach out to an advocate to talk about the situation in more depth, we are here 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233 and they are reachable everyday on chat from 7am to 2am CST.

      Take care,

      Advocate LC

  2. I survived strangulation three times in less then a month time. Thankful I was rescued and now I am working on things that will keep me permanently safe. Reading this article really touched a spot in my life that is still fresh and this form abuse along with the gas lighting is pretty serious. I have experienced all forms of abuse with the abuser and this was the last assault that I suffered. I am taking my case very serious and reading this article has put me on the edge of my seat. I now know how serious this is and it won’t go cause he may not stop unless I go to to the biggest forms of protecting my safety. Thank you for the article and letting me share my experiences with you. I pray foe everyones safety from domestic violence and I f you got away I pray for you safety as well. Bless you.

    1. Hi Michelle,

      Thank you for reaching out and sharing your story with our online community. Abuse is something that you never deserved and you have a right to protect yourself from. Leaving tends to be the most dangerous time in an abusive relationship which makes your physical and emotional safety a priority. I want to let you know about our safety planning page at this link. If you would like talk about what you are going through and develop a safety plan with an advocate, we are always here. We are reachable 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233 and reachable everyday from 7am to 2am CST.

      Take care

      Advocate LC

  3. I was chocked by my wife about 3 weeks ago, or as my support person tells me my wife tried to kill me. I find this hard to except this, still working on it. I love her deeply and we have two wonderful children. I have felt so much guilt that I did something wrong. Our friends have all side with her and I am being reminded every day that I was the “bad” person and caused it. I find it difficult to talk about as so much of the community think this sort of thing only happens to women and the majority of victims are women. My wife is much smaller than me and most people believe her as I am much larger than her. My support person is helping me deal with the mix bag of feelings I carry with me everyday and I am finding it difficult to grasp that it’s not my fault. There is no reason for another person who claims they love you to physically hurt you or verbally abuse you but for some reason my heart keeps getting in the way and makes excuses for her actions.

    I always wondered why women who were abused physically stayed with the abusive man. Now I question myself everyday why I feel so guilty for something that was perpetrated by my wife. It’s not easy to understand the feelings as they change from loving to hating to loving so quickly. My support person is helping me understand and come to grips with what happen. But the hardest thing for me is I know I am acting like the women I used to wounder why they stayed in the relationship. My wife was arrested for Domestic Violence and reminds me when she gets the chance that she was the one who went to jail and how bad it was.

    I hope that my support person can help me understand and come to grips with this. I also hope that if you find yourself in this situation, get out! Get professional help and stay safe! I have a completely different view on this topic now and really feel for those in situations like mine.

    1. Hi Norm,

      Thank you for sharing your story with our online community. Experiencing abuse from someone you care about is incredibly painful and something you could never deserve. Regardless of what your wife or anyone else says, there is nothing that could ever make your wife’s violence your fault. Your gender and your size doesn’t make you immune to abuse. Abuse is something that crosses all gender lines and you deserve to have support. This is a very overwhelming thing to navigate and you do not have to do it alone. I am glad to hear that you have a support person to lean on. Another option would be reaching out to a local domestic abuse organization. If you would like to explore your options and get connected to your local resources, we are always here to chat. You can reach us 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233 and we are on chat everyday from 7am to 2am CST. I also want to let you know about our page on male survivors of abuse at this link.

      Take Care,

      Advocate LC

  4. Thank you for posting this important information. This form of abuse is constantly overlooked by authority figures, and if it documented it goes onto to be shrugged off. Strangulation can have serious medical consequences, however, I feel many people do not take this action seriously. Perhaps, this is because we don’t hear about strangulation daily as we do gun violence, but this crime needs to be finally classified as a Felony. In doing so, it would be a step forward in helping establish and enforcing laws that would hopefully protect past, present, and future victims of abuse.

    1. Hello Nicole,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts. We agree that strangulation should be taken very seriously. We appreciate you being a part of our online community and speaking out for survivors!

  5. i have been with my husband for over 20 years, we have 3 children in which 2 have now moved out. i have been in an abusive marriage for all the years of my marriage. i have left about 3 times but someone he still manages to get me back. one of the things he has done many times was put his hands around my neck. i have told him that what he is doing to me is wrong but he just doesn’t care. i want to leave but so afraid to go. i have no family here so no where to go. i have no friends really because he doesn’t even like for me to talk to other people. i feel so isolated and alone and don’t know where to turn. i want to get away because i’m afaid that one of these days he is going to do some serious damage to me. so where do i even start?

    1. Hi Jenna,

      Thanks for sharing your story here. We’re very concerned about your husband’s behavior, and we’d like to help you find a place to start. Whenever you feel safe enough to do so, please call us at 1-800-799-7233 (24/7) or chat with us here on the website from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Central time.

  6. I was just abused yesterday, he put both his hands around my neck and squeezed and shook me extremely hard until I felt I was going to pass out. The evil and hatred anger in his face was horrible. I called 911, but of course he denies anything. I want to get my belongings from the house but he wont let me have them. The police were no help, actually rude. Ive been curled up in a ball in the corner crying all day. I cant get that vision of him choking me and the horrible things he said out of my head. My neck is sore and my throat hurts, feels closed. Im petrified, im so afraid. I dont know what to do, im so broken inside.

    1. Hi Sandra,

      I am so sorry that this happened to you. What your partner did was incredibly abusive and dangerous, and there is nothing you could have done to deserve it. I’m also sorry that you did not receive the support you needed from the police. It’s understandable to feel scared, and we’d like to help in any way we can. If you are in a safe place, or can get to a safe place, please give us a call at 1-800-799-7233 or chat here on our website between 7 a.m. and 2 a.m. Central. We hope to hear from you soon.

    2. Please find it within your self to believe that you are the strong, beautiful one ….this is not your fault ..they have a choice and are not strong enough to control their own rage ….

      The thing is you need to get up and get on ….life will get good again …give yourself ,as much time to this as you need …you dont have to act or make any desicions until you feel like you want too …
      This happened to me ,exactly the same a few days ago ,so I know how you feel …love yourself more than ever …just get on being the beautiful strong person you always were …police dont always have the knowledge or understanding oe experience to help ….just record it happened with you GP and document what happened in an email ….keep yourself safe and if yu ever see the anger or red flags of rage again get yourself out safely …even if you have to sleep with friends let womens aid know …they have a freedom program .BE STRONG YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL and life your life will be happy again one day if you see that it is their life ,not up to you to fix them …they are the ones who need to do the work on there rage but cant or dont ….love yourself most of all …xxxtake care

  7. I was strangled on May 26th. He grabbed with one hand as he sat on top of me in fetal position. He took my arteriey area and squeezed it hard as he could. It was not for a few seconds. This lasted about 1/1/2 to two minutes and I do not understand how I did not die. He held me as his captor for several weeks being as nice as can be. Then, he drove me to the shore without my medications. I am a post brain and spinal cord injury. I take numerous meds. He came to me and said he booked two nights at the place. I looked at him and my heart sunk because I knew I would not make it two days without the meds without serious problems. I was up all night very sick. In the morning he was angry because I was complaining. He wanted me to try to make it through till the end of the reserved time. I said I could not. He was angry and drove me back to my apartment and left me there in the health crisis. He said he was done with me. He then proceeded to send me message after message and call my phone repeatedly. He fianlly came to my apartment several days later apologizing. He then forced me to leave my apartment with him and took me to his home where he ignored me for several days. Then, he refused to bring me home. He made another threat against my life by picking up a fifty pound weight and bringing it down to my head as if he were going to kill me but stopped it. The next day, he took me home. He was angry because he found out I had gone to the hospital during the few days he dumped me off after the shore. He was furious I had sought help for the strangulation. I told him I did not tell police. And, I actually did NOT tell police. He did not believe me. I had only gone to ER because I feared I may have a blood clot from the strangulation because my face and neck had swelled. He also found out that I took images of the injuries. I tried to assure him I had not notified police. But, he did not trust my word. After the last dump off, I told him I was afraid of him and did not want to return to his home. He has been trying to call for days. Today, he sent a message saying he wanted me to move in with him permanently. I wrote back and said no because he had lost my trust 100% and made me afraid for my life. I have read some articles online about partial strangulation and understand victims can die up to months later from clots and other unseen internal injuries. I am afraid for my life because I know how serious the strangulation was. I am afraid to go to police because of all the threats he has made. I want to relocate but do not have money to do so and shelters are full here in my area. I have found one out of state but have been unable to find funding for the transportation.

    1. Hi Bobby,

      This is such a scary situation, and I’m so sorry that your partner is treating you this way. It’s very concerning that your partner has been so physically and emotionally abusive toward you. We would like to help you create a plan to stay safe and possibly locate some additional resources for you. Please give us a call at 1-800-799-7233 (24/7) or chat here on our website between 7 a.m. and 2 a.m. Central time.

  8. I don’t know what to do. I need someone to talk to. I can’t talk to my mom became he won’t let me. I never thought this could happened to me. [This comment has been edited for safety per our community guidelines] I can’t talk to anyone. He knows what I’m doing all the time. He might even find this. But I need someone to talk to, I need help. I’m scared for my life

    1. Hi Kayla,

      This sounds like a very scary situation. It concerns us that you are worried your partner might find your comment here, so we have edited it for safety. You do not deserve to be treated this way, and we would like to help in any way we can. We are totally free and completely confidential. Please reach out to us directly by calling 1-800-799-7233 or chatting here on our website between 7 a.m. and 2 a.m. Central time whenever you feel safe enough to do so.

  9. My boyfriend put me in a chokehold today over me attempting to look in his phone. He wouldn’t let go til I dropped his phone. I should have dropped it before it got that far but I think his physicality went overboard. It was very scary and painful to be put in a tight chokehold, especially by someone who professed their love for me 20 minutes before that moment. I called the police on him but the chokehold didn’t leave any marks and he denied it so they did nothing. Later on I realized as the pain set in that he had scraped the back of my ankles with his shoes when he had me in the chokehold. I told the police this in a call after the fact but again they did nothing. I am absolutely devastated and frightened by this situation and the physical pain I feel and powerlessness is heartbreaking and shocking. My neck hurts, my head hurts and my body is already sore. What can I do? Besides staying away from him. Please help.

    1. Hi E,

      This sounds so scary. There is nothing you could have done to justify what your boyfriend did to you. I’m sorry that you did not get the support you needed from the police. We’d like to help you in any way we can. If you feel safe enough to do so, please give us a call at 1-800-799-7233 or chat here on our website between 7 a.m. and 2 a.m. Central time.

  10. Don’t know what to think atm but I thank god I’m still alive and breathing
    Woke up to my partner strangling me all I can remember is I found it very hard to breath if at all and my throat hurting I managed to get my hand up to tap him on the arm a few times and was like he snapped out of what state he was in and let go of me got up and walked into the bathroom.
    Here I am on the bed trying to not just wake up but recover from what just happened and thinking to myself what the fuk

    1. Hi Tanya,

      This is such a scary situation, and you absolutely do not deserve to be treated this way by your partner. As we say in this post, strangulation is very dangerous, and we are concerned that your partner chose to behave this way. Whenever you feel safe enough to do so, I encourage you to contact us directly by calling 1-800-799-7233 or chatting here on our website between 7 a.m. and 2 a.m. Central time.

  11. [Admin note: This comment has been edited for safety per our community guidelines]

    My ex bf(we’re both married to other people) used my own stocking to choke me. I woke up having a seizure & didn’t know what was happening. He said i passed out. It was the scariest moment of my life & believe me I’ve been through it all with him but he has never choked me like this. I have so much anxiety that I will have a stroke down the road cause of this but I can’t tell my dr or anyone because I’m married & shouldn’t have let this man back into my life after all these years.

    1. Hi Anne,

      Thank you for your comment. This sounds very scary, and we’re so sorry to hear that your ex has treated you this way. It’s very concerning not only that your ex choked you but also that you had a seizure. We would like to help in any way we can. Please get in touch with us either by calling 1-800-799-7233 anytime, or you can chat with an advocate via this website between 7 a.m. and 2 a.m. Central time.

  12. [Admin note: This comment has been edited for safety per our community guidelines]

    I’m pregnant and am in a abusive relationship for about 11months now…My partner and i each have two kids, we live together. Thankfully they have not had the chance to witness the physical abuse but i know they know something is wrong, especially with my oldest daughter and she sees my face swollen and bruised. The first couple times he would repeatedly slapped me, has even punched me. I try to protect myself and have even had a chance to bust his lip with a jar when he was going to strangle me and he screamed what did i do like he was the victim.. he had finally stopped with the abuse a couple months ago and then out of nowhere in the middle of an argument two days ago he started strangling and wouldn’t let go repeatedly.. He did care not one bit about my baby , our baby !!! I thought i was going to die, i thought i was going to lose my baby.. He left the next day but i know that he will be back i just don’t know when.. His boys are with me.. I’m scared to death..

    1. Hello SHAY,

      Thank you for your comment. This situation is very concerning to us. It sounds like your partner is a very real threat to your safety and health, and that of your children. It is never okay for someone to treat you this way. We encourage you to contact us directly as soon as you feel safe and ready to do so. You can call 1-800-799-7233 anytime, 24/7, or chat here on our website from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Central time. We may be able to locate resources for you and help create a plan for you and your children to stay safe. We hope to hear from you again soon.

  13. [Admin note: This comment has been edited for safety per our community guidelines]

    I think I’ve been in a abusive relationship my x didn’t let me have friends or text anyone but him and when I lived with him he would hardly let me see my family and he has choked me before it hurts so bad my throat feels like I can’t even swallow regular food …
    every time I say ima tell on him he says he can get away with it and it scares me I don’t ever want him in my life again and I just want to be left alone.

    1. Hi Karen,

      Thank you for reaching out to us. This sounds like a very scary situation, and the behaviors you describe are abusive. Isolating you, controlling who you communicate with and choking you are definitely not acceptable behaviors, and as this blog post states, strangulation is very dangerous. We encourage you to contact us directly as soon as you feel safe and ready to do so. Please call 1-800-799-7233 (24/7) or chat here on our website from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Central time.

  14. [Admin note: This comment has been edited for safety per our community guidelines]

    I’ve only been in my current relationship for __ months and I am __ months pregnant by my partner. The verbal and emotional abuse occurred prior to my pregnancy but the physical abuse started at 4weeks pregnant and has carried on since…I was pressured into leaving my job, isolated from friends and family, even my wardrobe is controlled by my bf.

    I have no where to go and no one to turn to. I have no money to escape. It breaks my heart because when I cry I can feel my baby…kick and twist…I’m determined to leave. I don’t want my precious baby to repeat this cycle of abuse.

    1. Hello Ashley,

      Thank you for reaching out to us – that’s an incredibly brave thing to do. Based on the information you’ve provided, we are very concerned for your and your baby’s safety. Your partner has no right to treat you this way. We encourage you to contact us directly whenever you feel safe and ready to do so by calling 1-800-799-7233 or chatting here on our website from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Central time. In the meantime, please take a look at the safety planning posts on our pregnancy and abuse page, as well as these tips for reaching out safely. If you are concerned that your partner may be monitoring your internet use, please take a look at this post about reducing your tech footprints.

  15. [Admin note: This comment has been edited for safety per our community guidelines]

    I was married…and had a baby…after two months of bed rest in the hospital. My husband was abusive beforehand but it is more frequent now. I’ve been choked and hit over the head a number of times in the last few months and when he isn’t in a state of anger he can’t believe what he did and swears it will never happen again but it does. Now I’m worried about strangulation or brain injury or future abuse. I love him and I have this new daughter and we moved to his home town so I feel isolated and I’m unemployed. My parents have been laying the rent and I could probably kick him out but I still feel confused and stressed and unsure what to do.

    1. Hi Claudia,

      Thank you for your comment. This sounds like a dangerous and scary situation for both you and your baby. You do not deserve to be treated this way by your husband. We’d be happy to help you locate some resources and options so that you and your daughter can be as safe as possible. Please give us a call at 1-800-799-7233 (24/7) or chat here on our website from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Central time.

  16. I’ve been with my boyfriend for two years. He tells me he doesn’t love me more often than he tells me he does. He’s only told me he loves me maybe 4 times in our whole two years together. He used to talk to other girls all the time. He broke up with me over the summer and slept with a bunch of other women. We got back together and he never told me that he had unprotected Sex with women from tinder I found out on my own. He made me feel like I was horrible for getting std tested and then he was going to cheat on me with a fake account I made pretending to be another woman. He makes me feel like I’m crazy. He makes me feel like I’m disposable and when I try to talk to him about it he just loses it on me, refuses to communicate. Last night, he strangled me. Twice. All because I was trying to talk to him even though he was tired. He got on top of me and squeezed my throat Really hard to the point I could not breathe , let go and then did it again. My throat hurts so bad and my ear too. My eyeballs even hurt. I’m in physical pain & discomfort & eating is hard. But none of that is as scary as how I feel emotionally. I feel like an empty shell. I feel like a zombie. I cried and cried and cried until my head was going to explode and have had panic attacks on and off all day today. I’m afraid to go to the doctor because I’m afraid they will force me to tell them who did this to me. You can barely see any marks where he choked me even though it hurts so bad. I don’t want to talk to the police but I do want to go to the doctor but I’m afraid.

      1. Hi Kory,

        Thank you for sharing your story with our community. This is very concerning to us, especially since you are still feeling pain from when your partner strangled you. But it sounds like your partner has done many things that hurt you and broke your trust over the years. His behavior is absolutely unacceptable, and you do not deserve to be treated this way ever, for any reason. We encourage you to reach out to us as soon as you feel safe and ready to do so. We can talk through your options, help you safety plan, or help you prepare for a doctor’s visit – whatever you need. Just call 1-800-799-7233 (24/7) or chat here on our website between 7 a.m. and 2 a.m. Central time.

  17. [Admin note: This comment has been edited for safety per our community guidelines]

    My boyfriend has a really bad drinking problem and when he drinks he gets violent and physically abusive. He’s punched me, thrown me into walls and furniture and dragged me across the floor by my hair a few times. Last night he tried to choke me and today I am in so much pain (hard to swallow, headache) and i just feel defeated. I feel stuck because I’m out of work and living in a motel. I have no car or family that can help me. I don’t know why I can’t leave him…he doesn’t take care of me (he doesn’t work) I take care of him and pay for everything so it’s not like I need him around. I was in an abusice relationship years Ago and swore I would never do it again…yet hear I am I feel like giving up

    1. Hi Meredith,

      Thank you for sharing your comment and story with our community. This sounds like such a difficult and heartbreaking situation, and you are so brave to reach out for support. We want you to know that you do not deserve to be abused, ever, for any reason, and your boyfriend’s behavior is not your fault. We also want you to know that your boyfriend’s drinking problem is not an excuse for abuse; abuse is always a choice, and he is the only person responsible for making it. We are concerned for your safety, and we encourage you to reach out to us directly whenever you feel ready to do so. Please call any time at 1-800-799-7233 or chat here on our website between 7 a.m. and 2 a.m. Central time.

  18. [Admin note: This comment has been edited for safety per our community guidelines]

    I am [] and for a day and a few hours my ex kept me in our apartment against my will. He stole my phone and hid it somewhere. Everytime I tried to leave he’d drag me up the stairs, He threatened to kill me and he choked me and pinched my nose and covered my mouth so that I couldnt breathe. He left and he gave me his phone before he left I even though it was locked I was able to call 911. I almost gave up and let him kill me. I wanted to die just to get away from him. When someone says they love you to death they mean it,

    1. I spoke with the police felt like they were no help, so i came here spoke with someone and hopefully I’ll feel better. I knew he had issues, but I never thought he’d try to kill me. This was the first and last time he ever put his hands on me.

      1. Hi A.N.,

        Thank you for your comment and for sharing your story with our community. This sounds like a very scary and stressful situation, and we are so sorry your ex chose to treat you this way. We are glad you were able to reach out to us for support, and we hope you are safe now. Please know that you are welcome to contact us any time. Just call 1-800-799-7233 or chat here on our website between 7 a.m. and 2 a.m. Central time.

        1. [Admin note: This comment has been edited for safety per our community guidelines]

          My husband … became physically abusive… Since, he took anger management and now he is always angry when I express my feelings or get upset.
          He states, “Why are you doing this?” As though feeling or being upset is wrong. I am not perfect, but have the right to feel. I am in counseling as well. I too have health issues and chronic pain.
          Up until his cheating and the end result being assault … He was caring, loving and never layed a hand or word on me. Now, if I express anything it is those words and anger. Just anger toward me is his only reaction.
          I do love him and feel lost, confused and lonely. I do not know what to do. I do not want this to esculate nor die. I dont want to live like this. Please, some advice.
          Thank you,

          1. Hi Angela,

            Thank you for your comment. We’re so sorry to hear that your husband is choosing to treat you this way. It’s understandable for you to be feeling lost and confused right now. His anger is not an excuse to dismiss your feelings or become physically abusive. In our experience, anger management is not necessarily the most effective path for people who are abusive to their partners, as abuse isn’t about being angry: it’s about power and control. We definitely encourage you to speak confidentially about your situation with one of our advocates when you feel safe and ready to do so. You can call us any time at 1-800-799-7233 or chat here on our website from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Central time.

      2. Yes. To anyone reading these messages, wondering if choking might escalate to something more dangerous, YES.
        You are in grave danger if your gut instinct is telling you so.
        You must trust the still, small voice warning you that this is real.
        Get out NOW before it is too late.
        I can promise you that you will be fine. And in the process you’ll rediscover self-respect and you’ll finally feel alive again.

        Don’t let a wounded, dangerous, immature person control or determine the course of the rest of your life (or, worse yet, end your life.).
        There’s so much ahead for you if you’ll let go of this loser and trust the universe. I speak from experience ~ get rid of the abuser and you’ll be making room in your life for all kinds of unexpected, be relationships and experiences.

        1. Hi AnonymousSister,

          Thanks so much for your comment and sharing words of encouragement. We know that everyone’s situation is different, so we try to be mindful of the fact that not everyone is in a position to leave their relationship, or wants to. We are so glad to hear that you were able to find safety and are now living free from abuse, and your words may inspire someone else to take steps toward safety as well. Thank you for being part of our community here at The Hotline!

  19. Just curious if you realize that your wheel uses “her” to describe the abused. As a man may be the abused you may want to consider changing your wheel to be gender nuetral. That said, thank you for the information, I found the information here to be very helpful.

    1. Hi Holly,

      Thank you for reading and for taking the time to comment. We’re so glad you found this information helpful. The Power & Control Wheel is copyrighted by the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project and specifically addresses men’s violence against women. However, we know that anyone, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, can be a victim or perpetrator of domestic violence. Thank you again for visiting our blog! If you ever have questions or concerns about a relationship, please feel free to contact us by calling 1-800-799-7233 or chatting here on our website.

  20. [Admin note: This comment has been edited for safety per our community guidelines]

    I just got choked by my husband …he said he did it cause he doesn’t want to loose me for his cheating ,it hurts I have dizziness and my head hurts it feels like so much pain I couldn’t breeze..only for asking why did he cheat on me..iam so sad iam crying so much I never had anything like this done to me from him, I been 22 years married he did the same but I thought it was caused he was young…

    1. Hi anamously,

      We’re so sorry to hear that this happened to you. Your husband’s actions are very concerning, and you do not deserve to be treated this way. We are here to support you. Please call us at 1-800-799-7233 anytime or chat here on our website from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Central time.

  21. Hi, so yesterday i was having an argument wih my partner.thins got really heated over the silliest thing. Anyway i know i kept poking him in the chest, so When he put his hands around my neck i think it was more to restain me, as he wanted to get his clothes and get out of the house, and i kept getting in te way. He didn’t really squeeze my neck if hat makes sense, just held me against the wall, with a tiht grip on my arm, and then he got his clothes and went downstairs.

    After this we continued arguing, and a certain poin he slammed his own head on the wall, and then he left.

    Whati want to know is his abuse. I don’t know that it is, when this was happening, I didn’t feel scare, even in terms of his hold although my arm is bruised i could feel that he was holding himself back.

    I’ve been goooing away and trying o find more information, but I haven’t been able to find anyhing as everythingtalks about being stangled, but he didn’t strangle me, he jus held me by my neck if hat makes sense. Please can you help?

    I’m really confused. He has never shown any signs of abuse. None of the things menioned, he doesn’t try and contol me, or monitor my finances etc.please please help

    1. Hi Anon,

      Thanks for your comment. It sounds like this is a confusing situation for you. What we know is that abuse is about power and control. An abusive person uses different tactics (like isolation, insults, physical violence, etc.) to try and control their partner. Without more information, it’s difficult to know if you are in an abusive situation, but it does sound like there might be some unhealthy behaviors in your relationship that may need to be addressed. We’d be happy to talk through this confidentially in more detail with you. If you’d like, please contact us by calling 1-800-799-7233 anytime, or you can chat here on our website between 7 a.m. and 2 a.m. Central time.

  22. Hello. I really don’t know what i am doing. I guess i know i need to get away. .but it’s so hard cause of the good times. I have been with my partner for about 2 years. He cheated on his gf with me, but i didn’t know. When i found out i left him. She found our and kicked him out. He sought me out. I moved in and hwlped hon oay bills. He always said he was over her but has kept in contact. He has have me a concussion, broken ribs, 2 broken noses, multiple bloody noses, at least 8 black eyes and he has started to l easy ve bruises under ny chin. Hard to swallow and i was bleeding from the mouth for biting 2 pieces of my tongue off when he slamed my chin up. I stay because this always starts with us drinking. When he drinks too much he talks a lot of garbage about me which ijust respind to l each ve, get out. I stay in another room and toss are calm in the morning.. if i drink to much, that is when tons go bad and i lash out. I guess i feel is my faukt so i stay. .. but it is getting hard and i really want him gone but we live together and alk my money had been put into buyibg this place. I have thought of restrainibg orders but fear he will seriously hurt me when no one was looking. I really don’t know what to do. All my friends dislike him,, even most of his friends disluke him.

    1. Hi T,

      Thank you for sharing your story here. It sounds like you’ve been through a lot, and we are very concerned for your safety. Please know that you do not deserve to be abused in any way. There’s a lot to unpack in this situation, and we’d be happy to talk it through and possibly locate some additional resources for you. Feel free to call us any time at 1-800-799-7233, or you can chat here on our website from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Central time (8 a.m. to 3 a.m. Eastern).

  23. I pray
    Everyone is safe, and out of the woods… it takes courage to say something. It doesn’t have to be a personal connection with ur abuser it could be a co-worker a stranger landlord. We women have to speak up and let it be known.. what is not right.. I know it’s hard and we attend to get frustrated and want to give up.. I’m here to encourage us all.. it’s not our fault it was the abuser choice to do bad things… I keep us all in prayer and if u have not heard this in along time I Love You all keep your head up…

  24. I was grabbed by the neck while trying to get out of his car. There was pressure exerted, but from what I can remember, I could still breathe. My SO and I are separated now. He would say he would get help to come back home, and then he would stop going. It has been really hard for me to put my foot down, but being nice to him seemed to make things worse.

    Even when there are no visible markings on the outside, infrared forensic cameras can document the tissue damage in the throat. I’m guessing there might be other ways medical personnel can document the internal damage also.

    Taken from a Psychology Today:

    “Only half of victims have visible injuries, and of these, only 15 percent could be photographed.” The most common visible injuries are neck bruising and so-called “petechiae spots,” which show up on the face, scalp, mouth, earlobes, eyelids, and eyeballs of choked victims. Choking also causes damage to the victim’s throat, making breathing, swallowing, coughing, and talking difficult. Infrared forensic cameras can document the tissue damage in the throat.”

    “Death can occur days or weeks after the attack due to carotid artery dissection and respiratory complications such as pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and the risk of blood clots traveling to the brain (embolization).”

    Please keep reaching out and don’t give up. I couldn’t handle emotionally what was going on. I had to talk–there’s no way I could’ve been alone in this. There are resources and people that care, please remember that in your hardest days. Reach out until you find the help you need.

  25. So today is valentines I come home from work I find my partner with his friends on my way home this guy I don’t know decided it’s oky for him and smack my ass than run away , when I got to the house I told me partner and he said we probably know each other I lost it and slapped him his friends left he locked the door and strangled me I almost passed out I ran as fast as I can I am at my sisters place my throat is so sore I can feel his hands on my neck

    1. Hi Linzy,
      It sounds like you’ve been through so much, and you’re needing support. We’re not able to provide crisis support via blog comments, but our advocates are available to help 24/7. If you’d like to reach out about what you have been through, you can give us a call at 1-800-799-7233 or online chat with us by clicking Chat Now at

  26. So I made the biggest mistake of my life, I put my girlfriend in a head lock for not even a second with frustration, I jump in my car never regret so much in my life she’s deserves better, I’ve made the mistake and admitted to her that what I did was wrong I need help no woman should ever go through that I’ve never ever thought of it. I want her back so much because I truely love her I don’t know what to do

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