It is easy to think of brain injuries affecting football players and victims of car accidents, but have you ever considered connections between domestic violence and head trauma? It is not hard to imagine, is it? Spouses get into an argument that escalates into punches, and next thing you know, someone is on the way to a California emergency room.

This scenario is quite realistic, and the National Women’s Health Network finds especially disturbing the impact on women who are in similar situations. The NWHN says traumatic brain injury connected to domestic violence “may affect up to 20 million women, six percent of the population.”

Ladies are especially vulnerable when they are financially dependent on the partner who is abusing them. If you are in this situation, you may find leaving difficult even if counselors recommend separating as a potential solution. 

Symptoms of TBI you will want to be aware of include difficulty concentrating and completing everyday tasks that used to be routine. Someone with a brain injury may become sensitive to light and sound, feeling most comfortable in a quiet space with low light.

Extreme mood swings are also common with trauma to the brain, so if you find yourself unusually angry, excited or down, pay attention to those signs. The NWHN reminds readers in addition to the above, headaches and sleep disturbances may also come with head injuries.

The network also points out to women that you are physically more fragile than men, with “more delicate cranial bones,” and are thus more vulnerable to TBI when caught up in domestic violence.

This information is not intended as legal advice but as educational guidance on female risk for TBI.