Home Events - CPCM Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners eSANE: Strangulation: The Last Warning Shot

eSANE: Strangulation: The Last Warning Shot

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. This session will cover the following: findings from a study of 300 misdemeanor strangulation cases, understanding the lethality of strangulation, 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 case for prosecution, legal aspects of strangulation cases with surviving victims, tools and resources for advocates, resources and handouts developed by the Institute, and use of experts in court.

Trainers: The Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention at Alliance for HOPE International

  • Gael Strack, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder
  • Joe Bianco, Law Enforcement Support Coordinator

Gael B. Strack is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Alliance for HOPE International. Programs of the Alliance include: National Family Justice Center Alliance, Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention, Camp HOPE America, Justice Legal Network and VOICES Survivor Network.

  • The National Family Justice Center Alliance (www.familyjusticecenter.org) provides consulting to over 150 existing and pending Family Justice Centers across the world, helping communities open and sustain Family Justice Centers.
  • The Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention (www.strangulationtraininginstitute.com) provides basic and advanced training on strangulation prevention to 5,000 professionals annually.
  • The Justice Legal Network is an innovative public interest law firm made up of solo attorneys who have pledged to work with the Alliance in providing civil legal services to victims and their children.
  • Camp HOPE America, under the leadership of Casey Gwinn, provides summer camping, mentoring, hope and healing to children exposed to violence.
  • The VOICES Survivor Network is comprised of survivors who volunteer their time to provide awareness, education, outreach and feedback to their local Family Justice Center.

Prior to launching Alliance for Hope International with Casey Gwinn, Gael served as the Founding Director of the San Diego Family Justice Center from October 2002 through May 2007. In that capacity, she worked closely with 25 on-site agencies (government and non-profit) who came together in 2002 to provide services to victims of domestic violence and their children in one location. The San Diego Family Justice Center was featured on Oprah in January 2003, was recognized as a model program by President Bush and was the inspiration for the President’s Family Justice Center Initiative launched in October 2003.

Prior to her work at the Family Justice Center, Gael was a prosecutor at the San Diego City Attorney’s Office. She joined the office in 1987 and served in many capacities including Head Deputy City Attorney responsible for the Child Abuse and Domestic Violence Unit. Gael has also worked as a Deputy Public Defender and a Deputy County Counsel for the San Diego County Counsel’s office handling juvenile dependency matters. She graduated from Western State College of Law in December 1985.

Gael is a former board member of the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, former President of the San Diego Domestic Violence Council and former commissioner of the ABA’s Commission on Domestic Violence. In her spare time, Gael is an adjunct law professor for California Western School of Law where she teaches “Domestic Violence and the Law.” Gael has been honored with numerous awards, including San Diego Attorney of the Year for 2006, and was the 2010 Recipient of the National Crime Victim Service Award for Professional Innovation in Victim Services by United States Attorney General Eric Holder.

Gael has also co-authored a series of strangulation articles and five books with Casey Gwinn, JD, on the Family Justice Center movement.

Gael and her husband, Jan, have two grown children, Samantha and Taylor, and are the proud grandparents of two grandchildren – Emmett and Margo.

Joe Bianco has a BA in Criminal Justice (CS) from John Jay College of CS in NYC and an MS in CS from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. Before joining the Alliance, Joe was a police officer for 16 years with the NYCPD and SDPD, assigned as a detective to the DV and Child Abuse Unit for 6 years. Joe is a recognized court expert in non-fatal strangulation cases and DV dynamics. In addition, he spent a year working for child welfare services for the State of NH. Joe is passionate for helping survivors on family violence and education other professionals in the dangers of intimate partner violence and strangulation.



This training is hosted by CPCM under Grant No. 2019-MU-GX-K014, awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations in this document are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.

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Aug 14 2024


9:00 am - 4:00 pm