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NSW acts to toughen domestic violence laws

A new offence of strangulation is being introduced in NSW in a bid to stem the shocking tide of domestic murders.

The NSW government on Tuesday also proposed a suite of new laws that would also allow women to apply for indefinite apprehended domestic violence orders in the most severe cases.

There are already two strangulation offences under NSW criminal law. But of the 600-plus prosecutions since 2014, less than half resulted in a conviction.

Pru Goward, Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, said strangulation was a red flag for more serious domestic violence attacks.

One-in-four domestic murders have been linked to strangulation in the past, she said.

"To treat strangulation seriously because it's such a strong indicator of a likelihood of a fatal attack has been important to reforming the laws," she told reporters in Sydney.

NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman said existing legislation made strangulation difficult to prove.

The new strangulation offence will only require proof of intention of choking, strangling or suffocating without consent.

"We are hopeful this will result in increased number of prosecutions but more importantly point out a red flag for future domestic violence related offences," Mr Speakman said.

Other proposed changes include the introduction of indefinite apprehended domestic violence orders and increasing the default length of ADVOs for adults from 12 months to two years.

Police will also have the power to immediately vary ADVOs to respond to serious and immediate risks to victims under the proposal.

The changes will be introduced to parliament in coming weeks.

Mr Speakman hopes the new strangulation offence will come into effect before the end of the year and the ADVO by mid-next year.

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© AAP 2018