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Domestic Violence and Brain Injury

Domestic Violence is a leading cause of brain damage to women.

Did you know:

  • Greater than 90% of all injuries secondary to domestic violence occur to the head, neck or face region
  • 30% of battered women reported a Loss of Consciousness at least once
  • 81% reported cognitive, emotional and physical complaints identical to individuals who have experienced a brain injury.

The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services has developed an excellent teaching tool to enhance the awareness of domestic violence service providers on brain injury and its prevalence in these victims.  The program was inspired by the understanding that the "lack of knowledge about brain injury and its functional after-effects may result in less than successful outcomes for these individuals"

The brain injury resources are presented in four modules:

  • the mechanisms of TBI and it's effects on individuals
  • the association of brain injury with domestic violence events
  • how to identify those sustaining a TBI due to domestic violence, with techniques that staff can use for accommodating TBI changes in their clients
  • available Statewide TBI services and resources

The manual containing these brain injury resources including a PowerPoint presentation can be accessed by clicking here.

Several years ago I was asked to give a presentation on this topic to the National Crime Victims Bar Association in Washington D.C. where I served on its advisory board.  I advocated then and still do that victims of domestic violence bring a law suit for the brain damage they sustained against their violent spouse in addition to suing for divorce. The domestic relations lawyer would be well served to affiliate with a brain injury lawyer for this portion of the case.

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