“Invisible signs,” such as forgetfulness, lack of emotional control, struggling to concentrate or fainting are often unrecognized when linked to brain injuries. Due to many domestic survivors suffering repeated hits to the head and strangulation, these side effects are long lasting brain trauma caused at the hands of the abuser.
On behalf of a study performed by The Ohio State University, 81% of women who suffered domestic abuse have endured a strike to the head and 83% endured strangulation. Women between the ages of 18 to 34 experience the highest rate of abuse at the hands of a partner.
The authors of the study stated that some of the women were misguided and mistreated due to many of these injuries being unrecognizable to the naked eye. There has been prior research linking brain injury and domestic violence, but not as detailed as this study. These injuries could lead to more severe issues down the road. Nearly half the women who took part in the study were struck in the head or had their head shoved into a damaging surface so many times they couldn’t keep track.
It is important to be aware of domestic violence resources and advocacy programs in your state that assist and help victims of abuse. The signs can be hard to recognize, especially if the victim won’t speak up. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, do your best to speak up, and act accordingly.