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Many domestic violence survivors suffer from head trauma

In recent years, there have been many news reports about concussions suffered by football players and U.S. war veterans. However, comparably little attention has been paid to the head trauma regularly suffered by domestic violence victims in Minnesota and across the United States.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 25 percent of American women and 14 percent of men have been physically assaulted by a partner at some point in their lives. Examples of these assaults include being punched, hit, pushed down stairs or slammed against hard objects. Experts say at least 60 percent of domestic assault victims suffer traumatic brain injuries, which can leave survivors with long-term cognitive and memory problems. Some survivors are so impaired that they can no longer work or take care of themselves.

Studies show that repeated blows to the head can cause a degenerative brain disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy. The condition is associated with mood changes, memory loss, confusion, depression and even dementia. CTE has been linked to NFL players, and some scientists believe domestic violence survivors are also at risk; although, research on the matter has been scarce. Many domestic assault victims do not seek immediate medical attention for head injuries, and some hesitate to disclose the cause of the injuries if they do seek care. Social workers and other advocates are trying to develop programs to help survivors who suffer from the symptoms of head trauma.

Domestic violence survivors could find help by contacting an attorney to discuss their situation. An attorney could explain all legal options available and help file an order of protection or a restraining order with the courts.

Source: FOX News, "Fists not football: Brain injuries seen in domestic assaults," Aug. 23, 2016

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