We hear a lot about the link between TBI and things like sports-related concussions or military service. However, until recently, one group impacted by TBI has been overshadowed. Experts believe that many cases of TBI go undetected and untreated in abused women. The potential for victims to have mild to sever TBI is a growing concern. According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 25% of women in the U.S. have experienced severe physical assaults by a partner in her lifetime. Some of the most common injuries are to the head and neck.
Christenson says the correlation between TBI and domestic violence has not been widely studied, but that research is being done. She says there’s a lot more to learn, like how much TBI could affect a person’s ability to think through an abusive situation. “If your cognitive ability is less because of a traumatic brain Injury, you’re not able to really think through the steps that someone might take for granted. “Well, I got to wait until he goes to work so I can gather up my stuff in the car.” That in and of itself, that sequence of events can be very difficult for someone suffering from a traumatic brain injury,” she explains.