The Disabilities Trust’s Research Fellow, Dr Sara da Silva Ramos, presented our work on domestic abuse and the under-recognised risk of experiencing traumatic brain injury (TBI) at Pink Concussion’s online Partner-Inflicted Brain Injury Task Force.

Since the initiation of social distancing to combat coronavirus in the UK, concerns have been raised over an increase in domestic abuse. With escape routes cut-off, the National Domestic Abuse helpline reported an increase in calls by 25% since lockdown and leading domestic abuse charity Respect’s phone line website registered an increase in hits of 125% during this period.

The task force aims to improve the lives of those impacted by violence by creating an opening space for learning, inspiration and collaboration amongst those working in the field of brain injury and gender-based violence. Dr Sara da Silva Ramos discussed The Trust’s recent findings of the link between TBI, domestic abuse and female offending.

After a two-year study at HMP/YOI Drake Hall, in the first study of its kind, The Trust found nearly two-thirds (64%) of women may be suffered from an undiagnosed brain injury. Of the women who reported a brain, which was traumatic in nature, 62% had sustained their injury through domestic violence.

It is hoped that by taking part in Pink Concussion’s Task Force, The Disabilities Trust can contribute its expertise in brain injury to help those may have experienced both domestic abuse and TBI.

Dr Sara da Silva Ramos said: “It was a bit daunting, and also an honour to present our work on brain injury in women’s prisons to this international Task Force, full of renowned researchers in the field. While the findings we’ve discussed leave us sombre and concerned, I cannot help but feeling that this Task Force has the energy, knowledge and determination to change things for the better.”

To listen to the Task Force, visit Pink Concussions website at: https://www.pinkconcussions.com/taskforcecalls.

To find out more, email foundation@thedtgroup.org or call 01444 239123.