A Phoenix doctor is making the connection between the brain injuries suffered by professional athletes and those suffered by domestic violence victims. Dr. Javier Cardenas at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Arizona treats both National Football League players and victims of domestic violence, and sees strikingly similar brain injury symptoms in both. Due to the stigma attributed to spousal abuse, many of these injuries may go untreated.
One quarter of women in the United States have experienced severe assaults at the hands of a partner. Head and neck injuries are the most common caused by domestic violence. A new research study claims that 60 percent of domestic abuse survivors have suffered brain injuries. Even a single significant blow to the head can cause brain tissue damage.
The brain is not fixed inside the human skull. It is an organ suspended in the skull and surrounded by fluid that serves to absorb the shock of any hard and swift movement. When the head is hit, the brain can slam against the skull causing bleeding, tearing of brain tissue, and nerve damage.
The Short- and Long-Term Effects of Head Injuries
Symptoms of these blows to the head can be moderate to severe, lasting for weeks or even years. Short-term signs of concussions or other head injuries include nausea, headaches, vision loss, and balance problems. More severe, longer lasting effects are memory loss, confusion, and mood and behavior changes.
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is one of the most severe consequences of repeated brain injury. CTE has been found in several brains of NFL players who have committed suicide. It is believed to cause depression, dementia, and irrational thoughts and behavior in many longtime athletes. This raises concerns for domestic violence victims.
There are currently no statistics available about domestic violence victims and CTE, but the connection is logical. With greater understanding of how repeated head injuries can affect one’s overall health and well-being, we can better care for abuse victims physically as well as emotionally.
New Jersey Domestic Violence Lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. Advocate for Victims of Domestic Violence
It can be difficult to break the cycle of domestic violence. At Lyons & Associates, P.C., our domestic violence lawyers in Somerville provide the experience and compassion to handle your domestic violence case in New Jersey. Call our offices today at 908-575-9777 or complete our online contact form to discuss your case confidentially. We serve residents of New Jersey including the towns of Somerville, Bridgewater, Somerset, Basking Ridge, Mendham and Morristown, Somerset County, Morris County, and Union County.