The new study, which adds to mounting evidence, examined the brain injury knowledge of domestic abuse practitioners across the UK. Practitioners working in domestic abuse services were invited to answer a short online survey to understand their perception of the prevalence of brain injury in those they support, alongside their level of experience of, and understanding of acquired brain injury. The study reveals that:
- Survivors ‘often’ or ‘sometimes’ report symptoms or causes of brain injury, including:
- blows to the head, face or neck (56%),
- being thrown against the wall or floor (56%),
- having their teeth knocked out (66%) or,
- loss of consciousness (66%).
- 81% of domestic abuse practitioners who responded had received no previous training on brain injury
- 62% felt ‘mostly unprepared’ to identify symptoms meaning that the potential life changing impacts of a brain injury remain invisible.
- 10% had heard of The Disabilities Trust’s Brain Injury Screening Index (BISI) and there was even less knowledge of other screening tools for brain injury.
The results of this important study show that questions about possible causes of brain injuries are not being asked regularly or consistently enough in domestic abuse services and there is an apparent disconnect between what domestic abuse practitioners believe the prevalence to be, in comparison to the regularity of potential causes of injuries reported by survivors.
Research, however, is still lacking into how common brain injury is amongst survivors of domestic abuse in the community. Therefore, moving forward the Disabilities Trust is working collaboratively with survivors of domestic abuse and the specialist practitioners who support them, to gather further evidence and campaign for change in policy and processes to ensure training and holistic, tailored support is provided nationally.
Please engage in the discussion on social media using the campaign hashtag #throughoureyes
Read the full report here