Make your home page

Domestic violence strangulation incidents increasing in Indiana

DANVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — Strangulation in domestic violence relationships is increasing in the state, according to experts. Federal data shows strangulation increases the odds of homicide by 750% and stands as one of the most lethal forms of domestic violence.

“It doesn’t matter in this work, how many times you hear about a person being abused, it hits fresh every single time because every person matters,” said Cassie Mecklenburg, executive director of Sheltering Wings, a domestic violence shelter that provides emergency housing for victims.

Mecklenburg says she was heartbroken to hear of the ex-Avon police officer who was arrested last week for domestic battery and strangulation against his partner.

“If we can connect with people earlier on, then that will help to decrease potentially the level of severity that they’re experiencing,” Mecklenburg said.

1 in 4 women will experience intimate partner violence in their lifetime, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Data shows “of women at high risk, between 68-80% will experience near-fatal strangulation by their partner.”

The state saw a 181% increase in domestic violence-related homicides impacted by the pandemic, according to the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

“We’re seeing strangulation increase specifically because it’s being reported more. And because the level of stress and outside factors that are coming into play are exaggerated,” said Mecklenburg. “We want every person who might be experiencing abuse to know that help is available.”

If you or someone you know is experiencing a domestic violence relationship, you are encouraged to reach out to Sheltering Wings at

In addition, to emergency housing, the organization can help resources through its mobile advocacy program and help families find services.