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Casey Gwinn Letter to the Editor Regarding Strangulation Veto


Strangulation assault cannot be ignored


We were deeply disappointed to see Gov. Tomblin’s veto of the strangulation assault bill in West Virginia. The governor’s staff clearly failed him and failed the people of West Virginia. Men who strangle women are some of the most dangerous men on the planet. If a man strangles a woman once with his hands, he is 800 percent more likely to later kill her than a man who assaults a woman but does not strangle her.

Recently, we documented that 50 percent of all police officers killed in the line of duty are killed by men who have previously strangled women. Unfortunately, the majority of near death strangulation assaults involve no external visible injury. Indeed, many victims murdered by strangulation assault have no external visible injury at all. Not until the autopsy are the injuries evident.

A victim strangled to unconsciousness suffers internal brain damage and often long-term health consequences but may have no external marks at all. This is why 39 states and the federal government have passed special felony statutes since 2007. Current West Virginia law is completely inadequate to address these near-fatal assaults. The governor’s veto means more women will die in West Virginia. It means more police officers will die at the hands of men who assault women and later kill police officers. We urge the governor to sign the bill the next time the Legislature, law enforcement, and domestic violence professionals bring it forward. His support for a felony strangulation assault law in West Virginia is a matter of life and death.

Casey Gwinn
National Family Justice Center Alliance

Original Article here:



Walk/Run for Justice 5k on April 24th, 2015


No More “Speechless” Celebrity Campaign


NO MORE is a unifying symbol and movement to raise public awareness and engage bystanders around ending domestic violence and sexual assault. Launched in March 2013 by a coalition of leading advocacy groups, service providers, the U.S. Department of Justice and major corporations, NO MORE is supported by hundreds of national and local groups and by thousands of individuals, organizations, universities, and communities who are using its signature blue symbol to increase visibility for domestic violence and sexual assault.

Getting the Word Out… Domestic Violence Awareness in Rural Communities

This paper discusses how characteristics common to rural communities, such as a lack of access to resources and a sometimes strong communal identity, influence how rural public education work is done. It highlights factors that supported the West Virginia rural public education project and discusses how they planned and implemented public education work; activities described include the review and development of materials and themes, the use of statewide surveys and focus groups, and material distribution plans including the use of a statewide and local networks.

This paper is adapted from a report by Diane Reese and Sue Julian, Project Coordinators for the West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Read the full document here.