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Domestic violence can lead to brain injuries

Brain injuries are often associated with injuries caused by accidents; however, that isn't the only way that brain injuries can occur. Some victims of domestic violence can suffer from brain injuries. Sadly, these victims are often left to deal with the effects of the injuries without being able to seek medical care.

The brain injuries that victims of domestic violence suffer can be from blows to the head that occur when they are hit or if they fall. Around half of domestic violence victims are strangled, which can also lead to a brain injury if the brain isn't getting enough oxygen for a prolonged period of time.

Interestingly, victims of domestic violence aren't usually screened for injuries to the brain or strangulation when they do seek medical care in the emergency room. This can pose a unique problem for domestic violence victims because they might not remember the events or that they lost consciousness. That can make getting a definitive diagnosis very difficult.

Domestic violence survivors who have symptoms that might signal post-concussive syndrome should speak up about their symptoms. These symptoms include headaches, memory loss, trouble hearing, changes in vision, seizures, blacking out and ringing ears. Emergency rooms and those who work with domestic violence victims should make it a point to ask about these symptoms even when the victim doesn't have outward signs of trauma.

It is possible to seek compensation for an injury that is the result of an assault. If you are a domestic violence victim who has suffered serious injuries, explore your options for seeking compensation so you can decide what you are comfortable pursuing.

Source: The New Yorker, "No Visible Bruises: Domestic Violence and Traumatic Brain Injury," Rachel Louise Snyder, Dec. 30, 2015

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