Shining a light on intimate partner violence & brain injury

An important read on increasing awareness and action around the intersection of intimate partner violence and brain injury. Read the full piece on the University of Toronto website.

People who live with brain injury from intimate partner violence face massive chasms in health care and support systems, says University of Toronto researcher Angela Colantonio.

Most of these injuries go unreported. Service providers may not have the training to recognize brain injuries, and survivors themselves are often unaware they have a brain injury — instead attributing symptoms to mental health conditions or to personal failure.

The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened their suffering. Physical abuse has increased, and access to support services has withered. To help address this immediate crisis, and the long-standing problem of brain injury from intimate partner violence, Colantonio recently co-edited a special issue of the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation.

Colantonio is director of the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute and a professor of occupational science and occupational therapy at U of T’s Temerty Faculty of Medicine. She spoke with writer Jim Oldfield about intimate partner violence, and how research is raising awareness of brain injury and providing new tools for social workers, health professionals and patients.

Click here for those Q&As.