HIGHLIGHTING AN INVISIBLE INJURY

One in three women will experience intimate partner violence. Most will also suffer a brain injury.

When you consider most physical abuse involves blows to the head, face, and neck, and strangulation, it’s not surprising. But while sports concussion dominates news headlines, little attention is paid to how common brain injury is among survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV).

SOAR (Supporting Survivors of Abuse and Brain Injury through Research) works to change that through a unique, multi-disciplinary research collaboration between University of British Columbia – Okanagan and Kelowna Women’s Shelter.

Get The Facts

What is IPV?

The term intimate partner violence (IPV) describes physical, sexual, or psychological harm by a current or former intimate partner or spouse.

IPV is also known as domestic abuse or gender-based violence, and is a major public health concern that destroys lives, devastates families, and affects communities around the world.

One in three women will experience IPV in her lifetime. 

In Canada alone, it’s estimated 230,000 women between 20 and 54 will experience severe violence at the hands of an intimate partner every year.

The federal Department of Justice estimates the annual costs associated with IPV exceed $7.4B.

What is BI?

A brain injury (BI) is an alteration in brain function caused by external forces, or a reduction in oxygen supply. A concussion is a form of BI caused by a hard blow or jolt to the head, neck, or body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth.

In intimate partner violence (IPV), a concussion can happen from a variety of causes, including being:

  • Punched, or hit with an object.
  • Violently shaken.
  • Pushed down stairs.
  • Thrown out of a moving vehicle.
Brain injury can also happen in strangulation, which cuts off blood flow and oxygen to the brain. Nearly half of women survivors have been strangled. It’s a common cause of brain injury in IPV, and a strong indicator of future fatality.
brainscan-soar

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