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Domestic violence victims prone to traumatic brain injuries

Domestic violence is a pervasive problem nationwide, and some victims in New Jersey could be suffering from traumatic brain injuries inflicted by their abusers. Physicians suspect that repeated beatings can lead to problems like memory loss and confusion.

Sometimes, these symptoms do not emerge for years, and medical providers might not link them to abuse in the past. Even victims might not associate their difficulties with physical injuries. One woman whose partner repeatedly hit her in the back of the head so that the bruises would not be visible said that she didn't think about the potential of brain damage. The cause of her memory loss issues was a mystery until doctors considered her former abuse.

The anatomy and composition of the brain make it susceptible to long-term damage. As a soft organ, it relies on the cerebrospinal fluid to absorb the shock of hard blows. A sudden shock like an explosion or violent impact can force the brain into a collision with the skull. Cell damage, bruising, torn nerve fibers and internal bleeding can result. Advocates for domestic violence victims believe that physicians should begin assessing people for neurological damage, especially when blows to the head and face are evident.

As knowledge of traumatic brain injuries advances, the cognitive problems of people who experience domestic violence might be detected and treated earlier. In addition to medical treatment, a person caught inside an abusive situation has legal options. The representation of an attorney in court might allow a spousal abuse victim to gain legal protections that could enable a fresh start in life. An attorney could document evidence and approach a court with a restraining order request. The person might also become informed about the divorce process and learn how to seek custody any children.

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