The Strangulation Chronicles
What abusers say about their use of intimate partner strangulation
What abusers say about their use of intimate partner strangulation
The following statements were made by men enrolled in community-based or jail-based batterer intervention programs. As these statements demonstrate, abusers employ strangulation for a variety of reasons just as they do for other forms or tactics of abuse.
We have found it useful to include in all strangulation trainings a discussion of the agenda of abusers so that both victims and professionals can spot early warning signs, conduct more accurate risk assessment and safety planning, enhance prosecution, and ensure more complete accountability and rehabilitation of offenders. The back stories behind many of these statements have provided important insights into the minds of abusers.
Agenda or function of intimate partner strangulation:
- Gain access
- Ensure compliance
- Discourage reporting
What abusers say about their use of strangulation:
- It’s sign language for “you better not tell.”
- We call it “giving her the silent treatment” ‘cause you can make sure she ain’t talking afterward.
- No better way to get her full attention, especially when she realizes I could end her life in a snap, literally.
- Once I put my hands around my girlfriend’s throat, I remember becoming GOD. I literally had her life in my own hands. Now that’s addictive!
- Do you know how easy it is to kill someone that way?
- It’s the fastest way to re-establish control over your woman. And if you’re caught, you just tell them that she’s into rough sex. It’s not like there’s a law against it.
- One and done. [Interviewer: What do you mean?] One big squeeze and she’s through.
- The look of terror in her face is such a rush. She can’t help but look at you. You’re right there.
- You know what I did? I told her that I could give her the orgasm of a lifetime. I put my hands around her throat and told her to relax. Then I gave her what she wanted, but when I didn’t let go afterward, the look of fear was awesome. And who is she going to tell?
- Did you know that you can come this close to killing her and not leave a trace of evidence? How’s that for the perfect crime?
- It’s the fastest way I know to shut down hours of bitching. I mean immediately!
- If it’s legal to put a choke collar on your dog, you should be able to do this to your bitch. You don’t use it unless she misbehaves – great teaching tool.
- I would never really hurt her, but I want her to know that I could.
- Hey guys, do this once, (not even hard, but look like you mean it) and they’ll do anything you want them to. No need to go hitting your old lady.
- We call it the “squeeze play.” In baseball it’s how you avoid getting tagged out. With your wife, it’s how you avoid getting hooked up by the cops.
- Total disconnect. [Interviewer: Can you explain what you mean?] Sure. The head is there to protect the body. Choking will keep the head away so that you can have your way with the rest of her.
- You don’t need restraints; put your hands around her neck so that she doesn’t move too much. If that doesn’t work just squeeze a bit harder; she’ll stop.
- It’s a no-cost hearing aid. She’s never ignored me with my hands around her neck.
- The definition of a “disagreeable woman?” Anyone who hasn’t had her husband’s hands around her throat.
- Why [did I strangle her]? I got tired of yelling. With my hands around her throat I could whisper with the same effect.
- It’s volume control – you can turn down the bitching.
- It’s what you need to do when it’s your turn to talk.
- It’s weird. Sometimes they’re not in the mood [for sex]. But once you’ve used it during sex, [he demonstrates how he would squeeze her neck with both of his hands], they don’t seem to say “no” anymore. Not sure why, but it works.
- It means “SHHH!”
- Afterwards, there is no doubt whose in control, none whatsoever.
- I see it as a cure for feminism.
- Witness Prevention Program.
- Instant cure for attention deficit.
- We call it “All-Stating” her. [Interviewer: How do you mean?] All states, from conscious to unconscious. And from the commercial – she’s in good hands – mine!
- We’re in bed when she confesses that she cheated on me, right to my face! Can you believe it? So I say, ‘Don’t worry about it. Let’s pray.’ I get on top of her, but when I put my hands together, they’re around her throat and I say ‘Now I lay thee down to sleep . . .’ If her son hadn’t walked in, I probably would have done her right then and there.
- There’s throttling and then there’s ‘closing up shop.’ You throttle when you’re really pissed off and desperately trying to get her back in line. But you close up shop, literally and figuratively, when it’s too late. You might not even be mad anymore.
- It’s so simple. You do it during sex. Then no one (maybe not even her) will be able to tell if you’re doing it to “get her off” or to “finish her off.” Pretty cool huh?
- I sent her an IM once – Instant Message. But I didn’t use my phone. Once my hands were around her neck, all I had to do was give it a gentle squeeze with my thumbs (and I do mean gentle – it doesn’t take much to get the point across). While squeezing, I just slowly shook my head “no.” I never had to say a word. From that point on, she knew to never disappoint me again.
- They never should have arrested me. I never hit her; I would never hit a girl. All I did was choke the living sh*t out of her. But for good reason. She had just f*cked my best friend. Under the circumstances, I think I exercised pretty damn good restraint.
- I never would have thought of it until I saw it in a porno. She’s flopping around like a fish, making it real hard to ride her. So he puts one hand on her neck and in a couple of seconds she stops moving.
- It’s cheating if you do it during a sex rodeo.
- I was in Concord [NH State Prison] with a guy who talked about “popping the cork.” He said he would rape and strangle them at the same time hoping to cum right when they passed out. I don’t know if he ever killed any of them, but I don’t think he would have cared if he did.
- Once I grabbed her [by the neck] and she started coughing. I thought she was just faking it so all I did was get madder. After all, the whole idea was to get her to shut up and take me seriously for a change. I never thought it could do any real damage.
- It’s the natural order of things. Women have small hands, men have big necks. Men have big hands, women have small necks. So who do you think is supposed to grab hold and take control? Nature’s rule, not mine.
- I don’t think I ever could have done that if I still cared; if she still registered as a woman or a person to me. I mean how could you choke someone who is just inches away from you and looking right at you? No way you could still see them as a living being. In fact if that guy hadn’t pulled me off of her, I’m sure she wouldn’t be [still living].
- I get so frustrated with all the bitching. I didn’t know how else to get it to stop. And the more she struggled, the madder I got. But when she passed out, I couldn’t believe what I had done.
- It was like one of those Indiana Jones movies, where Indi is in a cave looking for just the right stone to grab to gain access to the next secret passage. You try the tits and the crotch but that doesn’t always work. Once you grab her by the neck, however, the defenses go down and you can go anywhere you want.
- Why do you suppose the neck is one of most erotic areas on a woman’s body? She wants you there. Either she opens it up and you’re supposed to kiss her neck or she raises her shoulders and you’re supposed to dig in with your hands. Either way she’s yours.
- It seemed hypocritical to tell her to shut up if I was going to keep yelling. So I didn’t say a word. And once I put grabbed her neck, neither did she.
- Ever have a leaky faucet? Doesn’t it drive you nuts? Same with all the nagging. Just seems to get louder and louder. So I turned off her faucet. Doesn’t leak as much anymore. And when she does, it’s not as loud. More raspy than loud. Actually kind of sexy.
- First group member: I choked my wife. Second group member: You mean you strangled her; choking is what you do on food, strangling is from the outside, around her neck. First group member: I know the friggin difference. I choked her. I shoved a pair of socks down her throat.
- Blessed silence.
- It’s a communication skill. She knows all the fancy words and tries to make me look stupid. When we argue, I just can’t think as fast. So this way, I make sure she doesn’t talk as fast (or at all for that matter; that’s even better).
- . . . She pinned her chin to her chest and I kept thinking, ‘You’re not going to keep me away! Let me at it. I was furious. But then, once I took hold and settled in on my grip, I felt this sense of calm wash over me, like I was in total control.
- [Interviewer: What were you thinking when you were on top of her?] I remember thinking: We’re all going to die. I’m going to kill her, kill the kids and then kill myself.”
- A pre-med student taught me this one: While you kiss her, if you stroke her neck while gently increasing the pressure in just the right place, she’ll pass out without even knowing you’re doing it. That’s when the “Drop Clock” comes on. [Interviewer: What is a “Drop Clock?”] It’s like a shot clock in b-ball. The Drop Clock goes on the moment she passes out. Then you only have a few seconds to get her clothes off and get inside before she comes around. Once at a party, one guy “dropped” a bitch, a second one got her clothes off and a third went in. We called them the “Pit Crew” because they were so good. If you get ‘em drunk first, anyone can do it. But these guys [the Pit Crew] could even do it with the sober ones.