STATEN ISLAND — The state awarded Staten Island a $100,000 grant to provide early intervention for victims of strangulation so they are less likely to ultimately wind up murdered, officials said.
Over the past year, the borough has had more than 300 cases involving strangulation, a top precursor to domestic violence-related homicides. The new funds will help give victims support services as soon as possible to reduce their future risks, District Attorney Michael McMahon announced.
"This funding will better enable my office and Community Health Action of Staten Island to administer these critical support services to victims of these heinous crimes, as well as their families, to help keep them safe and live their everyday lives," McMahon said in a statement.
Non-fatal strangulation has been found to be a top pre-indicator for domestic-violence related homicide cases, with a 2008 study finding victims were 700 percent more likely to be victims of an attempted homicide and 800 percent more likely to be killed by the partner who strangled them.
The anti-crime grant, provided by State Sen. Andrew Lanza, will also fund existing support services offered to domestic violence victims in Staten Island as the borough continues to deal with rising rates of the crimes.
Domestic violence has been on the rise in Staten Island over the past several years and the borough saw a 64 percent increase in the crimes from 2010 through 2014, the highest rise in the city, McMahon previously said.
While the borough had the highest increase in domestic violence crimes, Brooklyn has the highest rate of those crimes overall, according to police.
Overall crime has fallen 9 percent across Staten Island so far this year, but rapes and sexual assaults have increased, which McMahon said mostly stemmed from domestic violence incidents.