Who suffers the most traumatic brain injury (TBI) that we know of? Football players? Combat veterans? These are the populations that we hear most about in the press. There is real cause for concern for the consequences of TBI in these populations. However, there are TBIs happening every day that no one is talking about.
According to the Huffington Post’s, The Woman Who Face More Traumatic Brain Injury Than NFL Players, new research shows that as many as 20 million women each year may suffer from TBI caused by domestic violence. If the estimates show to be true, that would mean 6 percent of the population experiences domestic violence-related TBI every year. This means that far more people are suffering a disability as a result of TBI than we know.
TBIs are a serious personal and public health risk. They also are a real and devastating danger to the many survivors of domestic violence. The long-term consequences may include memory loss and other cognitive problems. This ironically, in turn, can make it more difficult for a victim to obtain custody of her children in family law court.
Researchers have a lot to learn about the long-term effects of intimate partner violence. This is a start. But domestic violence isn’t just between partners. It may involve children too.
I wonder about the rate of TBI among children who are subject to child abuse from similar methods. Parents who slap and punch their kids or knock them to the ground cause as much harm as domestic batterers. However, is anyone keeping track of those outcomes for those kids?