An Introduction to Domestic Violence Traumatic Brain Injury and Strangulation

An Introduction to Domestic Violence, Traumatic Brain Injury and Strangulation
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1 Module 1
Recorded on: 2024-05-07
Unit 1 Presentation Materials: An Introduction to Domestic Violence, Traumatic Brain Injury and Strangulation
Unit 2 Transcript: An Introduction to Domestic Violence, Traumatic Brain Injury and Strangulation
Unit 3 Workbook: An Introduction to Domestic Violence, Traumatic Brain Injury and Strangulation
Unit 4 Recording: An Introduction to Domestic Violence, Traumatic Brain Injury and Strangulation

The existing criminal justice system overlooks the issue of brain injuries resulting from domestic violence (DV), particularly those caused by physical assaults to the head, neck, and face or through strangulation. This session emphasizes the need for greater awareness and improved agency response to enhance the support and treatment for survivors.

Leading the conversation is Rachel Ramirez from the Ohio Domestic Violence Network (ODVN) where she serves as the Director of Health and Disability Programs and is the Founder of The Center on Partner-Inflicted Brain Injury. She provides training, technical assistance, consultation, and program support to professionals and systems to better understand traumatic stress and the impact of brain injury.

Specifics of her presentation tackled:

  • How traumatic brain injuries, including concussions and strangulation profoundly impact domestic violence survivors, yet are often overlooked in discussions about gender-based violence.
  • What DV is, its complex and various characteristics, considerations, tactics, and forms.
  • The concept of gaslighting, how the abuser carries it out, how it impacts the survivor, and how it is perpetuated in the systems that survivors deal with when seeking help.
  • The elements that shape how trauma impacts us, and how these manifest as stress response.
  • How the lack of conversations surrounding brain injuries in DV settings leads to ineffective interventions and inadequate survivor support.
  • The 4Rs of trauma-informed approaches in dealing with domestic violence to effectively support survivors.
  • Facts and figures that demonstrate the prevalence of repeated trauma to the head, neck, and face in domestic violence survivors and how these frequently result in brain injuries.
  • The different ways that brain injuries occur in the DV space, the different ways that it impacts different aspects of a DV survivor’s life, and the concept of partner-inflicted brain injury.
  • The need for domestic violence discussions to integrate both psychological and neurological perspectives and taking a “Won’t” to “Can’t” reframe to effectively address the complex challenges faced by survivors.
  • How traumatic brain injuries in domestic violence settings go undiagnosed due to a lack of visible injuries and inadequate medical screening, making it crucial for service providers to understand and accommodate these hidden impairments.
  • How understanding the distinct and overlapping signs of trauma and brain injury is essential for providing appropriate care and support to survivors.
  • How implementing the CARE framework which integrates brain injury awareness into trauma-informed care, can significantly improve service provision for domestic violence survivors by making accommodations for their specific needs.
  • Questions from the webinar attendees are about overcoming the natural basic survival response and encouraging treatment for individuals that minimize their experience and injuries.



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Or Click here to view and register for other upcoming Domestic Violence webinars and recordings on the JCH Platform.



Resources and Handouts


Audience Comments

  • “Rachel is great! Definitely need longer trainings from her. She is very knowledgeable and passionate about brain trauma! She is enjoyable to listen to, the hour went way too fast!:
  • “I learned that brain injuries caused by violence are rarely treated or recognized. “There is a tremendous need to raise awareness of brain injury as a significant impact of domestic violence and prepare agencies that serve survivors to better understand brain injuries.”
  • “This training was very informative and helpful in helping to understand the issues related to Brain Injury, Head, Neck and Neck Injuries and the significance of learning about these factors. Trauma and Injuries related to events we sustain and go through can have lasting effects on our lives and the lives of others.”
  • “Rachel does such a great job keeping my attention and at a level we all can understand. I’m a DV advocate so the info she provided is pertinent to my job.”
  • “The presentation had great information and the presenters energy was great.”
  • “I learned a lot that I didn’t already know about TBI and Strangulation.”
  • “The presenter is fantastic! Attended one of her previous webinars, it was just as informative. Enjoy her passion, and delivery. Please have her present many more webinars. I’ll sign up for each one.”
  • “Rachel was outstanding. She moved through a ton of material but was clear, engaging, and easy to follow. Thank you for a useful, pleasant webinar on such an important (and grim) topic.”
  • “Excellent presentation by a very knowledgeable and confident presenter. Thank you so much! Look forward to more in the future.”





NACP and D-SAACP Advocates can earn 1 CEU by attending this webinar through the National Advocate Credentialing Program (NACP)® and the DoD Sexual Assault Advocate Certification Program (D-SAACP). Founded in 1975, the National Organization for Victim Advocacy (NOVA) is dedicated to the professionalization, leadership and future of the victim advocacy field. To learn more about NOVA, visit




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