266524 Implementing Oregon's New Strangulation Law

Monday, October 29, 2012

Maria Sistrom, RN MSN PhD , School of Nursing, University of Alaska, Anchorage, Anchorage, AK
Matthew Jones, MPA PhD , Center for Public Service, Portland State University, Portland, OR
In January, 2012, The United States Department of Justice refined the definition of rape to include both men and incapacitated persons. The definition had not been revised since its creation in 1920. The states, however, have been more assertive in updating statutes for the purpose of increasing safety for women in particular and vulnerable populations in general. For example, several states have differentiated strangulation as a form of intimate partner violence apart from other acts for the particular purpose of protecting women and increasing their safety. Thirteen states, and most recently Oregon--also in January 2012--passed legislation defining strangulation as a felony in contrast to an array of acts of domestic violence chargeable as misdemeanors only. The differentiation takes into account evidence that strangulation, in particular, is associated with longer duration abusive relationships and a progressive form of intimate partner violence more likely to result in homicide. Effective implementation of such laws, however, appears to rely on several elements. Using the interdisciplinary literature, including medical, nursing, criminology, and most important domestic violence and policy advocate groups' work, this paper will attempt to define the elements of successful policy implementation, examine the formative implementation of the Oregon law, and propose a summative evaluation of the Oregon law one year after its passage (January 2013).

Learning Areas:
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
By the conclusion of this session, participants will 1. articulate the elements of an effective domestic violence prevention statute, and 2. recognize the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration to improve the safety of women.

Keywords: Sexual Assault, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a sexual assault nurse examiner and have engaged in interdisciplinary research on the topic of violence to women.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.