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Victims of Traumatic Brain Injury Are Also Victims of Abuse

Tne Centers for Disease Control has published a new fact sheet, “Victimization of Persons with Traumatic Brain Injury or Other Disabilities: A Fact Sheet for Professionals”   

Victimization can include physical violence, sexual violence, psychological or emotional abuse, and neglect, and research indicates that persons with disabilities are at an increased risk for victimization. 

This fact sheet was developed for professionals to provide a comprehensive overview of the topic of victimization of persons with TBI or other disabilities and to raise awareness about this serious and preventable public health problem.

Victims of traumatic brain injury are subject to physical violence, sexual violence, emotional abuse and neglect. 

According to the CDC the factors that make a person with a traumatic brain injury, or TBI, susceptible to victimization are:

Relationship Factors:

Persons living with a TBI often have difficulty with anger management, which may prompt others to use undue physical force or inappropriate medication.

Misperceptions about TBI and its effects may lead to treatment that is demeaning or abusive.

TBI outcomes affect others’ perceptions of a person’s ability to honestly and accurately report an incident of victimization.

Persons with TBI or other disabilities may experience physical and sexual violence, emotional abuse, or neglect by a caregiver in return for access to medication, adaptive equipment, or assistance with activities of daily life.

Individual Factors:

A TBI can cause cognitive problems that reduce one’s ability to perceive, remember, or understand risky situations that could lead to an incident of physical or sexual violence.

A TBI can cause cognitive problems that reduce one’s ability to perceive, remember, or understand risky situations that could lead to an incident of physical or sexual violence. 

Persons with a TBI may engage in at-risk drinking or drug use that place them in situations or relationships that lead to episodes of victimization.

In some persons, a TBI causes uninhibited behaviors that lead to risky sexual engagement, exposing them to HIV/AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases.

You can read and download the full CDC fact sheet on victimization of TBI survivors by clicking here .

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