These Guidelines are designed to improve responses to women with experiences of non-fatal strangulation, sexual choking and acquired brain injury. They were created by Women’s Health NSW to support our network of women’s health centres across NSW to develop their own organisational protocol and referral pathways for responding to women who have experienced non-fatal strangulation, sexual choking, and who may have an acquired brain injury. The Guidelines will be useful for services in NSW who see people who may have experienced non-fatal strangulation, engage in sexual choking, and who may have an acquired brain injury

The Guidelines are made up of four key parts:

  1. Referral pathway flow charts, which summarise response steps for disclosures of strangulation in the context of violence and sexual choking. Services may opt to just use these flow charts as visual tools to guide staff.
  2. A protocol, which outlines key factors for an effective response and includes definitions of things like warm referrals, terminology, screening and assessment tools, and data collection.
  3. Referral pathways, these outline in detail the steps described in the two flow charts, including service provider considerations and outline actions to carry out.
  4. Statewide Service Directory, which lists over 28 statewide services that can support women with experiences of strangulation, sexual choking and brain injury, from sexual assault services to legal services that target specific communities. This is designed to sit in addition to any services your service has identified in your local area, like champion GPs.

The Guidelines are presented in PDF and WORD formats to make it easy to customise these documents to reflect the needs of your service, and the availability of local services in your local area.

Suggested citation

Women’s Health NSW. (July 2024). Guidelines: Responding to non-fatal strangulation, sexual choking and acquired brain injury. WHNSW.

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