Common symptoms and reactions
- It is normal to feel anxious, trembling or shaking, rapid breathing, or experience stomach tightening, churning or nausea. Please contact a crisis support service for counselling and follow up.
- You may notice some bruising or mild discomfort. Apply ice to the sore areas for 20 minutes at a time, 4 times a day if needed for up to 2 days. Use of over the counter pain medication may also be helpful.
- If you notice new bruising or injury you should follow up with the hospital or your doctor. It is also recommended that you contact the forensic service or police and arrange further examination or photographs if needed.
Dangerous symptoms and reactions to watch for
If you have been strangled or choked there are some important signs you should watch for over the next few days.
Symptoms of internal injuries may appear quickly or develop over a few days after the assault. Internal injuries can be serious and even fatal.
Make sure someone you trust stays with you for the next 24-72 hours.
If you notice any of the following symptoms, you should call 000 or go to the nearest Emergency Department immediately.
- Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, persistent cough, or coughing up blood
- Increasing or severe headache, not relieved by pain medication
- Difficulty speaking or understanding speech, changes to your voice
- Swelling to your throat, neck or tongue, or increasing pain
- Difficulty swallowing or a lump in throat, muscle spasm in throat or neck
- Loss of consciousness or ‘passing out’, confusion, dizziness or light-headedness, seizures, ringing in the ears
- Drooping eyelid or sudden vision problems, one pupil larger than the other
- Difficulty walking, right or left sided weakness, numbness or tingling, loss of balance
- Vomiting up blood, or persistent vomiting
- Prolonged nose bleed (greater than 10 minutes)
- Loss of control of bladder or bowel
- Thoughts of harming yourself or others
- Behavioural changes or memory loss
If you are pregnant, report the strangulation and any of the following symptoms to your doctor/antenatal clinic immediately.
- Decreased baby movements
- Vaginal spotting or bleeding, or fluid loss
- Stomach pain