Moving Ahead. Exploring Incidence, Consequences, and Supports for Women Survivors of Traumatic Brain Injury in Intimate Partner Violence

Moving Ahead. Exploring Incidence, Consequences, and Supports for Women Survivors of Traumatic Brain Injury in Intimate Partner Violence

Survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV) are at high risk of acquiring a brain injury (BI). While BIs are often thought to be most common among athletes; a growing body of emerging research indicates most survivors of IPV have suffered one, if not multiple, BI’s. Unfortunately, screening for brain injury among IPV survivors is rare, and there is a lack of BI specific education, awareness and training among professionals who support women. Without proper supports, a BI can make it more difficult for survivors to leave an abusive relationship, and move forward in life. This presentation co-presented by Karen Mason, formerly of Kelowna Women’s Shelter and Dr. Paul van Donkelaar of University of British Columbia will explore the links between IPV and TBI, with a focus on a collaborative research study underway between the University of British Columbia and Kelowna Women’s Shelter. The multi-disciplinary SOAR (Supporting Survivors of Abuse and Brain Injury through Research) study reveals the incidence and characteristics of BI in IPV, and is working with IPV service providers, survivors, and health care and brain injury experts to develop and test screening, training, and educational tools for workers, and a service support network for survivors. The presentation aims to educate on the prevalence of BI in IPV, how the related changes are likely to manifest in women who experience IPV, and provide an overview and examples of tools and best practices in incorporating an IPV and trauma-informed lens into brain injury support practice.