Deputy Buffalo County Attorney Michael Gilmour says finding ways to respond to and prevent domestic violence is important for the justice and medical communities.
"Domestic violence in general, and strangulation in particular, are near epidemic in our communities all over the United States and yet it does go underreported," says Gilmour.
Gilmour says he asked Susan Michalski - an RN with experience in intimate partner violence and sexual assault - to talk with Kearney first responders, doctors, and nurses about the signs and consequences of strangulation.
"What we know about that connection with domestic violence and intimate partner violence is that sometimes it's the next thing to homicide," says Michalski, the president of Practical Applications.
Michalski says treating the medical side of a victim is only one aspect. She says it's important that agencies work together and create a safety net for the victim.
"One of the things that I think is really important is for all of us to ask not why does this individual stay, but what do they need?" she says.
Gilmour says they're not trying to make expert medical witnesses, that saving a life is the most important part of this training, but he says the more thorough a medical report is, the stronger a criminal case could be.
"These folks who respond as first responders need to know what to look for, to look out for victim safety and life and health and that benefits everyone," he says.
Michalski says Nebraska became a felony state for intimate partner violence in 2004, and since then she's seen changes in how police, medical professionals, and the courts handle domestic violence cases.