Domestic Violence

It is estimated that ~10% of all TBIs are due to assaults. They accounted for 3% of TBIs in children less than 15 years of age and 1.4% of TBIs in adults 65 years and older for 2006–2010.  Approximately 75% of all assaults resulting in a TBI occur in persons 15 to 44 years of age.1

This number may be grossly underestimated due to the nature of domestic violence and symptomatology for TBI that overlaps with that of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and more severe trauma.

Conquering Concussions is collaborating with The CACTIS Foundation and the Sojourner Center (Phoenix, Arizona) in establishing the Sojourner BRAIN Program, developing research, diagnosis, management, and treatment plans for the women and children victims of domestic violence with TBI. It is estimated that over 20 million women in the United States suffer TBI related to DV. 2


The vast majority of domestic-violence victims who show signs of traumatic brain injury never receive a formal diagnosis.

In the first version of her story, Grace Costa says that, on the night after Christmas, in 2012, her ex-boyfriend broke into her house, hid behind her bedroom door, and then attacked her as she and her two grown children-a son and a daughter-were about to eat dinner. In the second version, it’s still the night after Christmas, but it might be 2013, and only her daughter is at home with her. There’s a half-eaten apple on the floor of the kitchen; she remembers asking her daughter if she’d thrown it toward the garbage and missed. She also remembers thinking that she’d left the outside light on and then it was off.




  1. Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States: Fact Sheet. Retrieved June 1, 2015 from Center for Disease Control and Prevention website: www.cdc.gov.
  2. Sojourner Center Launches First-of-its-Kind Effort to Study Link Between Domestic Violence and Traumatic Brain Injury. Press Release: June 2nd, 2015.

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