The Impact of the Non-Fatal Strangulation Protocol in Salt Lake County on Protective Orders
In 2017, the Utah legislature passed HB17 Offenses Against The Persons Amendments, which modified the crime of aggravated assault to include strangulation, in effort to improve domestic violence (DV) outcomes. Following the passing of HB17, Salt Lake County has implemented a non-fatal strangulation (NFS) protocol; nearly 1,000 first responders were trained in a new screening process and in understanding risks and signs of strangulation in order to improve their responses to DV calls. This research study contributes to a larger effort to evaluate the efficacy of HB17 and the corresponding protocol by examining protective orders and identifying any barriers. This study employed mixed methods – qualitative and quantitative data collection. In addition to collecting quantitative data from medical records and court cases, the research team conducted qualitative interviews to better understand how Utah stakeholders (law enforcement, fire department, 9-1-1 dispatch, medical services, and social services) have implemented the NFS protocol.