Embrace Clinic gathers data at intersection of intimate partner violence & brain injury

A unique care clinic in Surrey has partnered with BC researchers to start gathering data on the rate of brain injury among victims of intimate partner violence.

The Embrace Clinic is part of the Fraser Health Authority’s forensic nursing service. As noted in a Vancouver Sun article last week, it is the only clinic of its kind in Canada to offer specialized followup care to violence victims after they’ve been discharged from an emergency room. Embrace is now partnering with University of BC-Okanagan professor Paul van Donkelaar in a research project to learn more about intimate partner violence and brain injuries (IPV-BI).

Embrace “sees people who’ve experienced intimate partner violence sometimes right away, within an hour or two of the experience, and at most within a day or two,” van Donkelaar, co-creator of UBC’s SOAR (Supporting Survivors Of Abuse and Brain Injury Through Research), told The Sun.

“Being able to tap into that and collect data on some of their clients, will make it more analogous to the work that’s done in sport-related concussion.”

Through the support of The Cridge Centre for the Family, Board Voice is involved in advocacy to raise awareness, change practices and support the collection of more data around IPV-BI that will lead to more services and support for its victims. Some 200,000 Canadian women are estimated to receive a brain injury through intimate partner violence every year.

While brain injury tends to be thought of by the public and policy-makers as primarily an issue for elite athletes, research tells a very different story. For every individual National Hockey League player who has incurred a brain injury in a game, there are 5,500 Canadian women who have incurred one due to intimate partner violence.

Learn more about this important issue here at our website page on IPV-BI.