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Domestic abuse and brain injuries

Just like those who have served in Afghanistan or played professional football, domestic abuse victims in Maryland and around the country may be at risk for brain injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 25 percent of women and 14 percent of men have been severely assaulted by a partner. However, these injuries may go undetected, which may result in behavior issues or memory problems. Changes in mood may also be possible.

In research published in Family & Community Health, it was found that up to 60 percent of abuse victims may have a brain injury. Such injuries may be caused by punches or being kicked or thrown down a flight of stairs. In some cases, just a single blow to the head can cause a serious brain injury. Multiple blows to the head can lead to long-term damage that may not be reversible.

Researchers believe that those who have been abused over a long period of time may have CTE, which is a degenerative brain condition. It can lead to memory loss, depression and dementia. One reason why brain injuries in domestic abuse victims may go unnoticed is that the symptoms may take a long time to develop. Furthermore, it is possible that an individual could suffer a major injury without losing consciousness.

If a parent has had a history of abusing a child or spouse, it could impact his or her child custody or visitation rights. Parents who are concerned about their safety or the safety of their children may request full custody. This may require the other parent to pay child support while having no or limited contact with the children. An attorney may help a parent ensure the best interests of a child are met.

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