Intimate Partner Violence and Resultant Concussions in Rural Locations, including Indigenous Populations

Registrations: 156

Date/Time by Timezone

Thu, Jun 15th, 2023 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM ET
Thu, Jun 15th, 2023 12:00 PM - 1:15 PM CT
Thu, Jun 15th, 2023 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM MT
Thu, Jun 15th, 2023 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM PT
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Concussions are a major public health concern in terms of their incidence. The causes of concussion traditionally have included athletics, motor vehicle accidents, elder care falls and combat. However, the consequences of physical assault, specifically Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) directed to the head, may surpass the existing concussion incidence estimates. Violent physical acts, such as strangulation, blows to the head, or being forcibly shaken, place an individual at high risk for brain injury. A survey of three metropolitan emergency departments found that 67% of the women seeking medical services related to IPV had symptoms associated with concussions. To this extent, one in four women will experience domestic or intimate partner violence in their lifetime, and upwards of 67-90% will have symptoms of concussion. This indicates that of the approximately 30 million women experiencing IPV, 20 million could demonstrate signs of a concussion. Alone, this is 11-12 times greater than the published incidence of concussion. Moreover, in 70% of homes where women are assaulted, children also are abused. As many as 15.5 million American children live in families in which IPV has occurred during the past year. Women in rural locations generally experience similar or greater rates of IPV as urban women, may be subjected to more chronic and severe abuse, and typically live much farther from available resources than those in urban areas. Currently, these victims have few places to seek education, advocacy, services, and treatment.

Consequently, victims of IPV in rural areas may be less likely to receive counseling and health care, and possibly receive lower quality health care when it is available, than urban women. Also, law enforcement interventions may be less likely to occur in rural areas, thereby exacerbating IPV as a chronic issue.  Additionally, Indigenous populations throughout North America are at greater risk for concussions and poor concussion-related outcomes based on health disparities, connections to poverty, violence, and systemic racism.

As documented in our epidemiological analysis, Indigenous populations have a dramatically different and increasing incidence than anticipated by population demographics and comprised a much greater proportion of diagnoses compared with the representative state demographics. Dr. Handmaker will discuss the obstacles to determine the true incidence of the problem and potential solutions to reduce its frequency and improve the outcomes for the victims.



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