Barrow Neurological Institute's Domestic Violence Traumatic Brain Injury Program Offers Services
I recently heard about Barrow Neurological Institute's Domestic Violence Traumatic Brain Injury Program in Phoenix, and am impressed, inspired, and grateful to know that such a program exists and is thriving. Having served over 20 years with Brain Injury Alliance of New Mexico, I have long known of the link between inter-partner violence and traumatic brain injury. The link between athletes and veterans and concussion and TBI is well known, well reported, and well studied. However, survivors of domestic violence and TBI have traditionally been underserved and underrepresented. This population sees repeated and frequent injuries to the head and neck, as well as strangulation, potentially causing cognitive impairment that is frequently blamed on the victim. Barrow's team conducted a review of medical files of those in the program and found that only 20% of victims had seen a medical professional for their injuries. Eight-eight percent reported having sustained more than one injury from domestic violence.
Barrow's program includes three components- medical care, community outreach, and research. Patients in their Domestic Violence Traumatic Brain Injury Program are provided with medical care, including speech and physical therapy, for free, and are connected with a social worker.
I hope that more neurological institutes are able to team up with domestic violence shelters and care providers and mirror what Barrow has done. The Brain Injury Alliance of New Mexico is working to begin a training and education series for domestic violence shelters and providers in New Mexico on identifying potential traumatic brain injury symptoms. This is the first step in what I hope will be a long road in making a difference for underserved survivors of domestic abuse.
For more information, please see Barrow's website: