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Zonta Club of Hilo’s Strangulation Bill Signed Into Law

July 31, 2019, 8:30 AM HST
* Updated July 31, 7:11 AM
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(L–R, front) US Sen. Mazie Hirono. Gov. David Ige, Zonta Club of Hilo Advocacy Chair Heather Kimball, and (back) members of the Hawai‘i Women’s Coalition. PC: State of Hawai‘i

Gov. David Ige signed SB 1037 on July 2, 2019. The bill was introduced by the Zonta Club of Hilo and sponsored by Hawai‘i State Sen. Lorraine Inouye.

This bill strengthens the language in the domestic violence statute on strangulation.

In attendance for the signing were U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono, a founding member of the Women’s Legislative Caucus; Heather Kimbell, Zonta Club of Hilo advocacy chair, and members of the Hawai‘i Women’s Coalition.

SB 1037 amends the offense of abuse of family or household member by amending the type of physical abuse that constitutes strangulation to include blocking the nose and mouth or applying pressure to the chest. The bill also clarifies that infliction of a visible bodily injury is not required to establish the offense.

“We were very pleased this bill passed in its first year,” said Kimbell. “The most pervasive and least recognized human rights violation worldwide, gender-based violence affects women and girls of every race, class, culture, ethnicity, age and country. Strangulation and suffocation present serious health risk. Yet, strangulation often leaves no external physical evidence.”

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Zonta Club of Hilo is member of Zonta International, whose mission is to empower women worldwide through service and advocacy. Zonta envisions a world in which women‘s rights are recognized as human rights and every woman is able to achieve her full potential. In such a world, women have access to all resources and are represented in decision making positions on an equal basis with men. In such a world, no woman lives in fear of violence.

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For more information, visit www.zontahilo.org.

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