There are few empirical studies on the prevalence of TBI among women and children affected by domestic violence. But evidence so far strongly indicates a silent epidemic, with major public health ramifications.
A 2001 study found that 67% of women seeking emergency medical support for injuries stemming from domestic violence had symptoms related to TBI, and 30% reported loss of consciousness.
As veterans return from war zones in greater numbers, the NRCDV has seen an increase in requests from advocates who struggle to address the added complications that wartime experiences can bring to intimate relationships. Coming across the emotional journey of veteran Scott Ostrom through a striking photo blog, staff at the NRCDV felt moved to use this story to restart the conversation about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) among war veterans, and specifically highlight how this impacts the work of domestic violence advocates. Returning home to the U.S. with a severe case of post-traumatic stress disorder, 27 year-old Scott “has struggled with daily life, from finding and keeping employment to maintaining healthy relationships.” PTSD and TBI are not new issues to domestic violence advocates, especially as these relate to victims and survivors, who are at great risk for psychological trauma and head injuries. What has been emerging is an increased understanding of the implications to the domestic violence field of PTSD and TBI among veterans who return home to their partners and families. Scott’s story is being referenced here not as an example of domestic violence but rather as a powerful illustration of the toll PTSD can take on one’s life and relationships.
ANNOUNCING A NEW SPECIAL COLLECTION!
The Intersection of Domestic Violence and the Military: Working across disciplines (May 2011) examines co-occurring issues experienced by veterans — including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and Military Sexual Trauma (MST) — and provides information related to best practices when addressing these co-occurring issues through a multi-systems approach. Challenges experienced by female service members and veterans are explored through the lens of violence against women.
A brief glossary of terms is included for your reference and to assist with understanding the information discussed within. This special collection is intended to expand on the previous collection Traumatic Brain Injury and Domestic Violence: Understanding the Intersections published by the NRCDV in March 2010.