Identifying, Investigating, and Prosecuting

Domestic Violence STRANGULATION Cases


Registration Open

Free Training

Rescheduled to 

September 29 &  30, 2020


7:30 am - 4:30 pm


Watertown Event Center
1901 9th Ave SW

Watertown, SD  57201

In Partnership with

Strangulation has been identified as one of the most lethal forms of domestic violence and sexual assault: unconsciousness may occur within seconds and death within minutes. When domestic violence perpetrators choke (strangle) their victims, especially to the point of unconsciousness, it is not only a felony but it may be an attempted homicide. Strangulation is an ultimate form of power and control that can have a devastating psychological effect on victims. The inability to breathe is one of the most terrifying events a person can endure.


Gael Strack, JD and Casey Gwinn, JD, leading experts in the field of non-fatal strangulation and suffocation assaults in intimate partner violence cases, will collectively share their expertise and cover the following:

  • Findings from a study of 300 misdemeanor strangulation cases

  • Understanding the lethality of strangulation

  • Link to other crimes, police shootings and mass murders

  • Identifying the signs and symptoms of strangulation cases

  • Anatomy and medical aspects in surviving and non-surviving victims

  • Investigating and documenting a Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Strangulation cases

  • Legal aspects of strangulation cases with surviving victims

  • Developing and using experts in court

  • Advocating for traumatized victims

  • Resources and handouts developed by the Institute

“For many years, we didn’t realize the seriousness of strangulation due to the lack of visible injuries and the lack of training.  We would see it in police reports and hear victims say over and over ‘he choked me’. But it wasn’t until the deaths of two teenagers in San Diego in 1995 that we started to put it all together.  Today we know that strangulation is one of the most accurate predictors for a subsequent homicide. If a victim is strangled even one time, she is 7x more likely to be killed by her abuser.  Even If the victim is lucky enough to survice, she may have still suffered brain damage due to the lack of oxygen, other internal injuries, delayed or long-term consequences.”

Gael Strack, Esq., CEO & Casey Gwinn, Esq., President

Alliance for HOPE International & the Strangulation Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention


WHO SHOULD ATTEND: Any professional handling sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse or human trafficking.

Law Enforcement | Prosecutors, Court Staff, Judges | Medical Providers, Paramedics, EMTs | Advocates | Civil Legal Attorneys | Psychologists, MFTs, LCSWs


This training session has been approved for 8 hours of MCLE, CEU & CE continuinig education credit.

SD Law Enforcement this course will count as continuing education for domestic violence as required by South Dakota state statute 23-3-39.4.


Hotel Information

For your convenience, a block of rooms has been reserved at Ramkota Hotel in Watertown. When calling to make your reservation, please mention the Beacon Center Training in order to receive a discounted rate of $91.99 per night. Please call 605-886-8011 to make your reservation.


Be sure to book your hotel room by August 28, 2020 in order to receive the discount.

Ramkota Hotel

1901 9th Avenue SW
Watertown, SD 57201


To ask questions about accessibility or request accommodations, please contact Angie Meseberg at

605-886-4304 or email At least two weeks' advance notice will help us to provide seamless access.

Beacon Center


801 Jenson SE/PO Box 781
Watertown, SD 57201

Crisis Line: 605-886-4300 / 1-800-660-8014

Business: 605-886-4304  Fax: 605-878-2045


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