New training addressing domestic violence, strangulation coming to Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte-Mecklenburg police, the city, Atrium Health and Novant Health are working together to bring a strangulation prevention institute to the Charlotte area next week.

In a news conference Wednesday, officials said non-fatal strangulation is the number one indicator of future death by a partner. A woman who has been choked is 750 times more likely to be killed by her partner.

"In a year we investigate 300 strangulation reports," Deputy Chief Katrina Graue with CMPD said.

Graue said she believes those numbers are low and this new training could encourage more victims to come forward.

Officials also said many cop killers and mass murderers have a history of strangulation.

Police pointed to the case of Jonathan Bennett, the man who ambushed CMPD officers and was shot and killed by police in Uptown in January. Bennett was wanted for killing his girlfriend and had been accused of choking her in the past.

Experts from San Diego will be in the city to give four days of intensive training that will affect not just Charlotte but the entire state.

Police and the medical community will change the way they talk and diagnose strangulation cases and prosecute more abusers.

“The purpose of this training is to get key members of the community all on the same level of awareness,” Sgt. Craig Varnum with CMPD said.

Communities that have adopted the new protocols, like San Diego, have seen a difference.

“They have seen reductions in domestic violence homicide rates,” Sgt. Varnum said.