Brain injury a common impact in intimate partner violence

The international awareness campaign 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is Nov. 25 through Dec. 10, and we’re sharing this CTV story on The Cridge Centre for the Family’s leading work to bring attention and services to the women who suffer brain injuries as a result of intimate partner violence.

Up to 90 per cent of women who experience intimate partner violence incur a brain injury as a result of that assault, and some will incur many such injuries over the course of the relationship. But this critical issue is virtually invisible, with many victims not even knowing they have a brain injury that is affecting every aspect of their lives.

Raising awareness of the existence of this problem is the first step. But there’s an absence of data, a lack of knowledge among the professionals providing services to these women, and a whole lot of stigma getting in the way. Read our 2022 Spotlight report to learn more.

Through the financial support of The Cridge Centre, Board Voice is engaged in advocacy on the issue of IPV-BI at all levels of government, and is promoting more data collection at all points where victims of IPV-BI come into contact with our health, justice and social service systems.

This data – currently non-existent – will help make the case for services and supports that must be put in place in recognition of the vast number of women who have experienced intimate partner violence who are now living with a life-altering brain injury as a result. Click here to learn more about our ongoing advocacy work and that of other organizations and researchers dedicated to this issue in BC and across Canada.

A woman with an undiagnosed brain injury may present with these kinds of issues:

  • be easily distracted
  • have difficulties learning new things
  • have trouble following instructions and remembering appointments or chores
  • be tired and irritated easily
  • get angry or rage at her children or others
  • have difficulties adapting to life in a communal shelter setting