It has been a year since new legislation came into force making strangulation a specific criminal offence.
Since then more than 1300 people have been put before the courts - an average of at least 124 people a month and mostly men - for deliberately impeding the breathing of another person.
A further 5498 were charged with assaulting a person in a family relationship in the same period.
New figures released to the Herald by police show that January was the worst month for both assaults and strangulations.
Strangled, suffocated, beaten: New family violence laws lead to thousands of arrests
Hands off: police making five strangulation arrests a day, victim relives 'terrifying' ordeal
And in total 6109 Kiwis became victims under the new legislation.
New Zealand has the worst rate of family and intimate-partner violence in the developed world and police are called to an incident every four minutes.
In a bid to curb the epidemic three new criminal offences including strangulation were introduced on December 3 last year as the first phase of the Family and Whānau Violence Legislation Bill.
Previously there was no separate offence for strangulation as it was treated as assault.
The new offence recognises that attempts to stop a person from breathing by strangulation or suffocation is a significant risk factor for future violence - and can be lethal.
The offence is defined as intentionally or recklessly impeding another person's normal breathing, blood circulation, or both - by blocking their nose, mouth, or both and or by applying pressure on, or to, that other person's throat, neck, or both.
It carries a maximum penalty of seven years' imprisonment.
The other offences are assault on a person in a family relationship and coerced marriage or civil union.
From December 3 2018 to the end of October 1365 people were charged with strangulation - 1319 men and 46 women.
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A further 5498 with assaulting a family member - 4991 men and 507 women.
The majority of victims across both offences were females.
To date, no one has been charged with coercing marriage.
The first person to be charged under the new strangulation law - the day it came into force on December 3 last year - was a South Auckland man.
Alongside the police data, the Herald has obtained details of a number of the sentences meted out to people convicted of strangling their partners or family members.
'If you want, I can end it for you'
One of the first to be jailed for the new offence was Palmerston North man Jamie Robert Ackland.
On January 3 this year Ackland attacked his partner of 18 years in front of their young children.
There had been previous family harm incidents between the couple but Ackland had never been convicted.
The couple argued and Ackland slapped the woman across the face four or five times.
As she sat down on a chair to recover Ackland went for her again, putting both hands around her throat .
He gripped her so forcefully she started to gag.
"If you want, I can end it for you all now," he yelled at her.
At sentencing in March Judge Stephanie Edwards said the woman's body "went tingly and she lost consciousness".
When she came to she retreated to the street but Ackland followed her and they continued to argue.
A neighbour tried to intervene and Ackland grabbed him by the throat and held a knife to his neck causing a small laceration.
The woman, who suffered a bruised right eye, pain to the right side of her face, jaw, neck and chest, later told police that Ackland had taken her phone and money cards.
"She told police that she had lived like this for far too long and was always made to feel like this was her fault," said Judge Edwards.
"She expressed the view that she needed to go somewhere where you could not find her and that she was worried for her children… that she needed to get away from you before she was 'trapped in this life of pain forever'.
"The strangulation was accompanied by a threat that you could 'end it all now' which would have left her with the impression that you held the power of life and death over her at that moment in time."
Judge Edwards said the attack on the Good Samaritan who tried to help the woman also had "potential… to be fatal".
"When you hold a knife to someone's throat, that always has the potential to result in very serious injuries, indeed," she said.
Ackland, who has a number of previous convictions for common and aggravated assault, claimed he could not remember the offending because he had taken "a cocktail of alcohol and drugs".
Judge Edwards said a pre-sentence report stated Ackland's purported remorse was not accompanied by any degree of insight into his offending.
Rather he minimised his actions, blaming the drugs and alcohol.
She sentenced him to two years and nine months in prison.
Protection order no barrier for repeat beater
Ackland's case was taken into consideration months later in the Wellington District Court when Douglas Vae'au was jailed for an attack on his partner.
Judge William Hastings sentenced Vae'au to 22 months and two weeks behind bars after he pleaded guilty to five charges - including strangulation, breaching a protection order, assault on a person in a family relationship and breaching a supervision order by associating with a person he had been ordered not to contact.
All charges related to a brutal attack on his partner and mother of his child.
He was living with his mother after being ordered by the courts not to associate with the woman - but stayed at her home on the night of the brutal attack.
The couple argued and the woman asked Vae'au to leave but he refused.
"You headbutted her," said Judge Hastings.
"She went outside for two minutes to put the rubbish out and to let things cool off.
"When she returned inside, you grabbed her throat with your right hand, squeezing until she was unable to breath or speak."
Judge Hastings said aggravating features of the offending included the fact there was a protection order in place against Vae'au, that he headbutted the woman and inflicted minor physical injuries.
"The victim is your partner. This obviously involves a breach of trust due to the relationship you have with her," he said at sentencing.
"She was also vulnerable. There is an inherent vulnerability in a victim who is a family member when physical violence is used against her by a more physically powerful man in her own home.
"(Another) aggravating factor is that your young child was in the room at the time of the strangulation.
"The presence of a child in the room is a seriously aggravating factor. Children should not be exposed to this sort of thing."
Judge Hastings said the "relatively minor apparent physical injuries" did not minimise the offending.
"Strangulation often does not present visible injuries," he explained.
"It does however present psychological and emotional injuries because strangulation is a manifestation of control, intimidation and coercion.
In her statement to the police after the incident the woman said Vae'au mad her feel "worthless and scared".
Judge Hastings said Vae'au's criminal history included nine convictions for violence offending against his partner.
"This offending also took place while you were on a sentence of supervision," he revealed.
Vae'au and his victim underwent a Restorative Justice meeting where he offered a "genuine apology" and a pre-sentence report stated he realised the severity of his
While he initially minimised and justified his actions he later began to take responsibility for what he had done.
A letter written to the judge before sentencing reiterated that.
Judge Hastings said alongside the prison sentence, Vae'au would be subject to six
conditions for six months after he his release.
Those included not contacting the victim, submitting to GPS monitoring and attending any rehab programmes or counselling as directed by his probation officer.
DO YOU NEED HELP?
If you're in danger now:
• Phone the police on 111 or ask neighbours of friends to ring for you.
• Run outside and head for where there are other people.
• Scream for help so that your neighbours can hear you.
• Take the children with you.
• Don't stop to get anything else.
• If you are being abused, remember it's not your fault. Violence is never okay
Where to go for help or more information:
• Shine, free national helpline 9am- 11pm every day - 0508 744 633 www.2shine.org.nz
• Women's Refuge: Free national crisis line operates 24/7 - 0800 refuge or 0800 733 843 www.womensrefuge.org.nz
• Shakti: Providing specialist cultural services for African, Asian and middle eastern women and their children. Crisis line 24/7 0800 742 584
• It's Not Ok: Information line 0800 456 450 www.areyouok.org.nz