Traumatic Brain Injury and Intimate Partner Violence: Challenges for Survivors Involved in the Family Court System

Date: Mon, Apr 3, 2023 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM EDT

Survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV) commonly sustain physical injuries to the head, neck, and face. As a result of increased trauma to these areas, survivors are at a greater risk of experiencing brain injuries; specifically traumatic brain injury (TBI), which is caused by external force to the head, neck, or face, and hypoxic-ischemic brain injury (HIBI), which is caused by non-fatal strangulation. These injuries cause damage to the brain and disrupt its normal functioning, resulting in a range of physical, emotional, and cognitive difficulties. Because of these difficulties, survivors impacted by brain injuries can face challenges when accessing, navigating, and participating in the family court system. For instance, survivors suffering from unrecognized or undiagnosed brain injuries can exhibit behaviors in family court that undermine their credibility. If a brain injury is known, it can also be weaponized against survivors during custody and access proceedings to paint them as an unfit parent. This webinar focuses on the intersection of IPV and brain injury, and the subsequent challenges these injuries present for survivors in the family court system including issues surrounding participation in the court process, establishing causal evidence of IPV-related brain injury, and the absence of trauma-informed legal practices.