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"He like to hit me in the head:" Insight into Traumatic Brain Injury from Intimate Partner Violence
"He like to hit me in the head:" Insight into Traumatic Brain Injury from Intimate Partner Violence
Submitted on 26 Feb 2016

Amanda St Ivany, BS, BSN, RN, MSN, PhD student; Susan Kools, PhD, RN, FAAN; Phyllis Sharps, PhD, RN, FAAN; Linda Bullock, PhD, RN, FAAN
University of Virginia School of Nursing, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing
This poster was presented at The PINKconcussions International Summit
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Poster Abstract
Purpose: While there is growing evidence linking having a traumatic brain injury (TBI) to perpetrating intimate partner violence (IPV), little research exists on women who receive head injuries during episodes of IPV. This study examines the context of episodes of violence that result in the victim receiving a TBI and barriers to receiving treatment for the TBI.

Methods: Thematic analysis was conducted as a secondary data analysis on interviews collected as part of the DOVE study involving home visiting during pregnancy to decrease IPV. Participant interviews were selected based on self-reported head injury from IPV (passing out from being hit in the head by a partner). Interviews were coded and themes were created.

Results: Salient themes of extreme control, manipulation, subterfuge, taking advantage of vulnerability, creating being indispensible, and fear of loosing children emerged. The most common reason why women were not able to seek medical care for TBI was forced sexual intercourse immediately following the extreme violence, leading to extreme control of the woman and her help seeking behaviors. Women were afraid to seek medical help because of a fear of losing children related to the abuse.

Conclusions: Primary healthcare providers, social workers, policy makers, researchers and advocates need to be aware of the prevalence of TBI from IPV and the many reasons why women are not able to seek treatment. Future research should focus on specific outcomes of TBI from IPV to create a screening tool.

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