In a past relationship Deborah Thomson was repeatedly strangled by her husband.
Sometimes he was trying to kill her, but not all the time.
The attacks impaired Ms Thomson's vision and left her requiring brain surgery to fix aneurysms.
Now, 17 years after escaping that relationship, she is adding her voice to renewed calls for strangulation, choking and suffocation to be made indictable offences.
The calls come a week after Western Australia became the fifth state to criminalise non-fatal strangulation in an offence which is separate to that of assault.
Queensland, the Australian Capital Territory, NSW and South Australia all already had similar laws.
In NSW the crime of strangulation carries a five year maximum jail term as opposed to two years for common assault, which strangulation previously fell under.
"He attempted to strangle me on numerous occasions, twice to where I was close to unconsciousness," Ms Thomson said.
"When I was being abused from 1985 right through to 2003 there was little information about strangulation and the implications of it in an abusive relationship."
In other news:
Research from America, published in The Journal of Emergency Medicine in 2008, found in 43 per cent of attempted murders and 45 per cent of murders, the victim had previously been strangled.
Women who experienced non-fatal strangulation were six times more likely to have a partner attempt to kill them and seven times more likely to be killed.
In July last year this research was cited in a coroners report into the death of Jodi Eaton, a 28-year-old from Southern Tasmania.
Ms Eaton was murdered by a 32-year-old man who had a history of strangling women.
Coroner Olivia McTaggart recommended the Tasmanian government consider making strangulation, choking and suffocation an indictable offence which would be applicable in domestic violence situations and violence situations more generally.
Ms Thomson said this sort of a law would take the onus off victims to prove they had been rendered unconscious.
Womens' Legal Service chief executive officer Yvette Cehtel said it was time for Tasmania to catch up.
"It is an indicator of escalating risk. It is also an indicator of behaviour and the type of violence that often results in a homicide - it can cause death very quickly and it is intended to control," she said.
While presiding over Tasmania's first court case relating to persistent family violence, in July 2019, Justice Stephen Estcourt recognised the effects strangulation had on victims.
"Strangulation can cause death quickly with loss of consciousness," he said.
"It has been suggested that it can occur within seven to 14 seconds. Additionally, underlying internal injuries caused by the pressure applied to the throat can cause swelling which may develop gradually ... causing death may be delayed."
Attorney-General Elise Archer said the protection of victims of family violence and their children was a priority for the government.
"Non-fatal strangulation, choking or suffocation is never acceptable," Ms Archer said.
"Tasmania's criminal law framework contains offences which may capture acts of non-fatal strangulation, choking or suffocation.
"The maximum penalty for any one of these crimes is significantly higher than the penalties for the standalone offences that have been introduced in other jurisdictions.
"I have asked the Sentencing Advisory Council to look into the issue of non-fatal strangulation and how we could possibly strengthen our response and increase awareness of the effect of this crime on victims."
If this article raises concerns for you or anyone you know contact the 24-hour national sexual assault and family violence counselling service on 1800 737 732.
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