Training Event

Victims of domestic violence are being physically and psychologically tortured with asphyxiation assaults every day in our community and it is being missed by first responders, medical professionals, and other members of the criminal justice system.

This powerful and lethal form of abuse is compelling reinforcement to the victim that their abuser decides if they will live or die. Asphyxiation is used by perpetrators as they escalate towards and commit homicide.

These presentations will bring awareness to the challenges, obstacles, and solutions to identify, investigate, assess, and prosecute crimes involving asphyxiation by strangulation and suffocation as well as those facilitated in or by water.

Attendees will learn to overcome common challenges asphyxiation presents including: lack of external injury, lack of victim, and missed and misunderstood evidence. The training will explain how to implement and understand an Asphyxiation Assessment (previously known as the Strangulation Supplement) and teach first responders to conduct quality on-scene investigations with a trauma-informed approach to collect valuable and credible evidence to aid successful prosecution.This course is primarily addressing adult victims and victims over the age of 11.

Training Presenters

Kelsey McKay is a highly recognized national expert on the topic of asphyxiation and interpersonal violence. She was a child abuse and domestic violence prosecutor in Travis County, Texas for 12 years exclusively prosecuting strangulation related crimes for half that time.

She now trains and consults nationally to implement sustainable protocols and help strengthen how communities collaborate, investigate, treat, and prosecute strangulation, as well as cases ranging from intimate partner violence and sexual assault to child abuse and homicide.

Kelsey is President and CEO of RESPOND Against Violence, a non-profit organization, and serves on multiple faculties, advisory boards, and committees.

Andrea Zaferes co-founded the non-profit RIPTIDE to assist with aquatic death and homicidal drowning investigations and has taught hundreds of police, fire, EMS, and military personnel annually throughout the US, Canada, Asia, and the Caribbean.

Andrea is a mediological death investigator with the Dutchess County Medical Examiner’s Office, NY. She has numerous publications, is a noted presenter at forensic conferences nationwide, and is an expert witness fro aquatic death cases.

Andrea was recently featured on Dateline and Discovery Channel. Her past diving honors include: DAN Rolex Award, Beneath the Sea Diver of the Year Award, Women Divers Hall of Fame, and much more.


Two-Day Training

  • What: Training focused on Identifying & Investigating Asphyxiation, Strangulation, Suffocation, & Aquatic Crimes
  • When: November 7 & 8, 8:30am – 5:00pm
  • Where: WSU Riverpoint Campus, 600 Riverpoint Blvd, Spokane, WA 99201
  • Thursday Classroom: Room SEWC 122, located inside Eastern Washington University¬†building
  • Friday Classroom: SAC 20, located inside the Student Academic Center
  • Food: Morning and afternoon refreshments will be provided. Attendees will receive a break for lunch each day. Several restaurants are nearby or on campus. Saranac Commons is close and can provide quick lunch options as a suggestion.
  • Parking: $7 per day via card or “Whoosh!” app at the pay station. The closest parking to the classrooms is in Lot 1 on N Riverpoint Blvd. Please allow 10-15 minutes to park/pay/walk to the classroom. Vehicles with EXEMPT plates do not need to pay for parking.
  • More Info:
  • Questions: Jordan Ferguson – 509-385-4380

If you would like to attend this training event, please register below.

Training Registration


The Spokane Regional Domestic Violence Coalition and the Spokane Police Department would like to thank these co-sponsors: Providence Health Care, Washington State University College of Nursing, and YWCA Spokane.