Domestic violence is divorce’s darkest side. As though the abusive emotional, psychological and sexual behavioral patterns are not distressing enough, studies show that the physical impact can lead to fatal consequences.
Severe domestic or “intimate partner violence” (IPV) survivors are at substantial risk of suffering from traumatic brain injury (TBI) or a forceful blow that disrupts normal brain functioning. Research reveals gender disparity, with one in four women and one out of nine men subjected to IPV. Similarly, women are 12 times more likely to sustain TBI than athletes or military members.
With October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, discussing the connection between domestic violence and TBI proves timely as advocates encourage dialogues about the often unseen struggles survivors endure.
Shedding light on survivors’ plight
Repetitive choking, hitting, striking or slamming against hard surfaces can result in TBI. Thus, even if the abuse stops, survivors must still face a challenging aftermath:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder: Aggravated by physical symptoms – flashbacks, nightmares and sleep deprivation or disturbances
- Post-concussion syndrome: Prolonged or persistent TBI as manifested through headaches, memory lapses and dizziness
- Psychological condition: Anxiety and depression causing excessive and unrealistic fear or worry
The severity of damages may vary depending on spousal dynamics or family circumstances. Unfortunately, no matter the extent of harm, TBI typically leads to long-term effects that can limit someone’s choices. For example, extreme TBI cases can leave someone fully paralyzed. Immobility can restrict how they do their job or how to get one, which can result in financial ruin.
Leaving an abusive relationship is difficult. Survivors must acknowledge that it is happening, remove themselves from the situation and seek help. These steps can be intimidating if they do not know who to trust. Aside from their loved ones and support groups, they can turn to their Colorado legal team for reassurance. They can receive guidance every step of the way and protection for themselves and their children. Doing so can show them a future where they do not only survive but also thrive.