0800 723 377 wahimarie@tuora.org.nz

Strangulation / Suffocation Services

If you have experienced family violence in the form of strangulation/ suffocation you may be eligible for a (non-emergency) health assessment with the Wāhi Mārie Non-Fatal Strangulation Assessment Service (NFSS). 

We work closely with the local Family Harm Teams to ensure that you are safe, well supported and healthy. We will assess your injuries and document the information you give us in your medical record.  This information is only shared with your consent. 

You do not have to make a formal report to police to have this assessment, however you do need to allow the Family Harm Team to make a referral to our services. 

For a referral and or information for an NFSS assessment you can contact us or call 105/ 111 and ask to speak to your local Family Harm Team. 

If you have been strangled/suffocated (or choked) there are some important signs you should watch for over the next few days. 

  • Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, persistent cough, or coughing blood Increasing or severe headache, not relived by pain medication

  • Difficulty speaking or understanding speech, changes to your voice

  • Swelling to your throat, neck or tongue, or increasing pain

  • Difficulty swallowing or a lump in throat, muscle spasm in throat or neck 

  • Loss of consciousness or ‘passing out’, confusion, dizziness or light-headedness, seizures, ringing in the ears 

  • Dropping eyelid or sudden vision problems, one pupil larger than the other

  • Difficulty walking, right or left sided weakness, numbness or tingling, loss of balance

  • Vomiting up blood, or persistent vomiting

  • Prolonged nosebleed (greater than 10 minutes)

  • Loss of control of bladder or bowel

  • Thoughts of harming yourself or others

  • Behavioural changes or memory loss 

If you have any of these symptoms please ring 111 or go to your nearest Emergency Department immediately 


If you have been strangled make sure someone you trust stays with you for the next 24-72 hours. 


Strangulation is dangerous. If you have been strangled by a partner, ex-partner, or a family member, you are in greater danger of being seriously injured or killed by them in the future.  


Often there is not injury to see or even feel, but there could be serious internal injuries that happen when your brain lack oxygen, even for a short time. Loss of consciousness can happen within 10-20 seconds and death within 4 minutes. Symptoms of internal injuries may appear quickly or develop over a few days after the assault. Internal injuries can be serious and even fatal. 

Strangulation is a common way for abusers to control someone through fear. It is important to know it is often more dangerous than hitting or kicking.  


For further information about strangulation / suffocation

Non-Fatal Strangulation/Suffocation (NFSS)

I have Been Strangled or Choked | Shine (2shine.org.nz)

    Contact Us


    275 Cuba Street, Wellington

    Five Rivers Medical Centre, Greytown


    0800 SAFE SPACE (0800 723 377)

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