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Provider Perceptions and Domestic Violence (DV) Survivor Experiences of Traumatic and Anoxic-Hypoxic Brain injury: Implications for DV Advocacy Service Provision.

NCJ Number
Journal of Aggression Maltreatment & Trauma Volume: 28 Issue: 6 Dated: 2019 Pages: 744-763
Julianna M. Nemeth; Cecilia Mengo; Emily Kulow; Alexandra Brown; Rachel Ramirez
Date Published
20 pages
Since domestic violence (DV) survivors are susceptible to traumatic and anoxic-hypoxic brain injury, collectively referred to as brain injury (BI), the current study characterized provider perception of the impact of BI on DV survivors' experiences with advocacy services and survivors' reported exposures that can lead to BI.
Data were collected at five advocacy organizations in 2017. Eleven focus groups were conducted with service providers (45 staff and 17 administrators), and interview-administered surveys were completed with 49 survivors. The study's findings indicate a discrepancy between providers' perception of the potential impact of BI on survivors' presentation and ability to access services, and survivors' pervasive exposure to incidents that can cause BI. Just over 81 percent of survivors reported having been hit in the head or having their heads hit against another object at least once; and just over 83 percent of survivors reported ever having been strangled. These findings show the necessity of raising organizational capacity to serve DV survivors with BI. Intervention suggestions are provided. (publisher abstract modified)