Intimate partner violence and brain injury

Listen to this post: 

A note: Today’s post talks–not in graphic detail–about intimate partner violence (domestic violence) and brain injury. The topic is highly sensitive. Some of the links in this blog post go to other publications that have graphic descriptions of brain injury and violence. Please read or listen with discretion or stop. The video at the bottom of the post is lovely and not graphic. So you can scroll down and check that out.

A while back on this blog, I wrote this post about some common myths around brain injury that includes links to information on intimate partner violence, brain injury in different ethnic and racial communities, among other things that don’t get much media space.

Earlier this summer, I posted a Huffington Post article on Facebook called “The Women Who Face More Traumatic Brain Injury Than NFL Players” and this Australian article on how often women end up in the hospital due to family violence. Please stay aware that it’s not only women who have intimate partner violence directed at them, but they make up the largest group of people.

Now I’m really excited to announce that the local Bitch Media has a story about women with head injuries from intimate partner violence in their most recent issue #68, called “Blood & Guts,” which you can read if you subscribe. The article’s called “Who’s Left out of the Picture When We Talk About Traumatic Brain Injury?” by Sarah Kishpaugh. I love that title. In fact, in nearly every community presentation I give, I have slides on this very topic of who does and doesn’t get their story told to the public. And it echoes my earlier post on the topic as well: both in sharing stories that rarely get airtime and questioning why on earth they are not getting the airtime we need. So go you, Bitch Media. And thank you!

I’m also including this darling video Craig Sicilia put together recently. Washington State wants to take funding away from the TBI support groups because they claim the money only goes to buying coffee and donuts. (Hint: that’s not true.) If you defund the support groups, you are taking away a critical piece of access to support, recovery, social connection, and the networking people need to move their lives forward and upward. (Because it’s not like everyone–anyone–has unlimited access to transportation, Vocational Rehabilitation, and counseling. So we gotta get our needs met somewhere.) That’s why we shouldn’t defund the support groups.

What’s neat about the video is their repeated lines “I’m the face of brain injury” and “I’m the face of disability.” It doesn’t fully reflect our true diversity but is way more diverse than a lot of brain injury media we usually get. And this was put together super quick, and only people Craig could reach could participate on extremely short notice. Either way, it’s a great challenge to the stereotypes of who gets brain injuries and what they look and sound like afterward. Go, TBI Survivors Network Development Project!

The video has Open Captions so you can follow along. (Sorry they’re at the bottom over the words. Do not get me started on my captioning software….)