March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) often goes unrecognized for survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV). There are many ways people are physically abused. There are usually no visible signs of TBI.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- Have you ever been choked?
- Have you been placed in a sleeper hold?
- Have you been slammed against something?
- Have you had furniture or other objects thrown at you, hitting your head?
- Have you had your hair pulled, so hard that you fell to the ground?
- Have you been punched to the floor and then pulled across the floor by your legs or hair?
- Have you been hit with something hard, hit with a fist or slapped?
- Have you been karate chopped?
- Have you ever been body slammed?
- Have you ever been kicked?
- Have you been picked up and thrown?
- Have you been shaken?
- Has this abuse happened more than once?
- Did you lose consciousness?
- Have you been checked for brain injury?
There is a higher risk for permanent damage when these types of physical abuse happens more than once. Many times traumatic brain injury (TBI) from domestic violence goes unreported, resulting in brain injury symptoms that can last a lifetime.
I am a TBI domestic violence survivor. I have not had agencies discuss traumatic brain injury with me. I mentioned it to them and they said, “Oh, you have PTSD from all the years of intimate partner violence.”
Here are some of the symptoms that I had:
- Loss of consciousness
- Balance issues/dizziness
- Memory issues
- Mood issues
- Problems with reading, writing and numbers
- Slurred speech
- Sleep issues
- Nausea, vomiting
I knew I needed help and that all my symptoms were not just PTSD. As an outpatient of a brain injury rehabilitation facility, I completed cognitive, behavioral & emotional programs as well as speech and vision therapy.
Here is a link to learn more TBI symptoms: https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/tbi/conditioninfo/symptoms
This blog is to alert domestic violence survivors to seek medical help for possible traumatic brain injury and for agencies to implement programs to screen for TBI, if you have not done so already.
*”Domestic violence (DV) is a common cause of brain injury in women, who constitute the vast majority of victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner.
Domestic violence service providers.
Screen everyone who seeks DV services for TBI. A brief screening tool that was designed to be used by professionals who are not TBI experts is the HELPS.2
HELPS is an acronym for the most important questions to ask:
H = Were you hit in the head?
E = Did you seek emergency room treatment?
L = Did you lose consciousness? (Not everyone who suffers a TBI loses consciousness.)
P = Are you having problems with concentration and memory?
S = Did you experience sickness or other physical problems following the injury?
If you suspect a victim has a brain injury, or they answer “yes” to any of these questions, help them get an evaluation by a medical or neuropsychological professional – especially if they have suffered repeated brain injuries, which may decrease their ability to recover and increase their risk of death. If the victim wishes, reach out to the TBI service provider with information about DV, what support they need, and what services are available to them. Look for ways to work together.”* *https://www.opdv.ny.gov/professionals/tbi/dvandtbi_infoguide.html
Thank You on social media
Thank You on social media
Exclusive link to the 1st place movie
Thank You on social media
Exclusive link to the 1st place movie
Golden Tangerine Innov-E Film Award T-shirt
“Domestic and sexual violence is a leading cause of homelessness for women and children, and the need for safe and affordable housing is one of the most pressing concerns for survivors of violence and abuse.”*
“This video provides an understanding of the connections between domestic and sexual violence and safe, affordable housing, and provides tools for advocates working at this intersection”**:
Nobody should have to choose between living in abuse and being homeless. We all can do our part to bring awareness to helping those of us who flee abuse. Many survivors have young children. Many have not worked outside of the home. Many stay because being homeless is not an option for them.
Click here for PDF download of infographic*
“We can all work together to raise awareness and reduce domestic violence.”
C.L. Valens, Innov-E Foundation’s Executive Director, was featured recently in internationally known Healing Stigma’s blog: The role of stigma in domestic violence: How one survivor left an abusive marriage & is now helping others.
Trigger warning: “I was slowly dying inside, crying every day, and my health was failing.”
“….the man behind the smile was a brutally different person.”
As a survivor of domestic violence, CL’s mission in life is to help other survivors heal from abuse and take their life back. Her book, “Domestic Violence Survivor Handbook, Steps to Freedom” is the just the beginning of CL’s many ways she is helping victims become survivors.
#spousalabuse #domesticviolence #stopthestigma #domesticabuse
Did you know your online shopping can support Innov-E Foundation Inc.?
By signing up with our new fundraising partner, Ziggedy, you will generate donations to Innov-E Foundation Inc. every time you shop online from stores like Amazon, Walmart, Target, and Nordstrom, at no additional cost to you!
How does it work?
When you click through Ziggedy before you shop, an average of 2.5% (up to 30% depending on the retailer) of your purchase price will be donated to Innov-E Foundation Inc., without costing you one extra penny!
Getting started is easy and support Innov-E Foundation Inc. every time you shop online, please take a moment to create your Ziggedy account at: www.ziggedy.com/innovef/signup.
To learn more about Innov-E Foundation go to our website: Innov-e Foundation.
#innovef #specialneedsyouth #empoweringyouth #filmindustry #worldyouth #visualartsnonprofit #501c3nonprofit
When you see a child, take them by the hand and lead them to a future they never imagined they could never had. At Innov-E Foundation, this is what we are endeavoring to do. It could be a teen in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, or anywhere else in the world or a child with special needs that might not even be able to communicate. All these children need an opportunity to find their niche in life or find a way to put some of their energy into a productive way by acting, writing, singing, photography, film producer or film director. We want to help children, no matter their financial, physical or mental capability to that chance.
We are in preliminary planning stages of holding an online and live art auction in South Florida and we need finances to do this. We are a new non-profit and we want to help artists from the Caribbean get exposure for their paintings as well as raise funds for our next project. Right now we need $6500. If you would like to help the future youth of our country and the world, take the time to go to our website and donate to Innov-E Foundation. Qualified donations are tax-deductible.
“The potential possibilities of any child are the most intriguing and stimulating in all creation.”
~Ray L. Wilbur, third president of Stanford University
Out of the world’s total population, 85% live in developing nations. Sixty percent of those live in the Asian region, while the birth rate in developing nations is presenting a negative growth rate. Yet 66% of the youth in the world live in countries that show a per capita income of less than one thousand (USD$1,000) dollars per year!
One would ask, “What do world youth desire?” A report for the United Nations Economic and Social Affairs reveals that they want opportunities to develop a sense of independence, competence and participation in society. However, there exists an estimated one billion illiterates in the world and women account for 66% (UN Report on Global Situations of Youth); such situations has led to studies on depression and suicide in developing nations by the W.H.O. that reveal that 75% of all suicides are committed by females.
Innov-E Foundation sought to identify a consensus of actions to be implemented worldwide in order to better environment, enhance competencies and secure active participation in society and it appears that it must include:
- Creation of safe and supporting environment
- Provide Information
- Build Skills
- Provide Counseling
To contribute to the process of nurturing creativity as a basis to the building of skills, and having learned that 50% of the world population have a mobile phone and that an increasing percentage of that total is of “smart phones”, providing video and photographic capabilities, Innov-E will provide specific information on creative use of audiovisual capabilities of mobile devices; encourage skill building in movie creation as a vehicle of expression and facilitate counseling to developing nations and special needs youth. In such pursuit we endeavor to identify best practices of leading institutions that share the same interest for the youth. One of these is the Sconniewood Film Festival in Wisconsin, which claims that: “Making films in America is one of the most creative outlets young people enjoy today. We believe the process of writing, vision planning, organizing people, project management, art direction, and carrying a project to the end can enhance the positive traits that empower young leaders to become successful. After the work is completed, students will then see how it all comes alive during the festival.”
In 2015, Innov-E Foundation is organizing the first “Developing Nations and Special Needs Youth Film Festival” and to that end, creating lasting opportunities for the talents to be discovered, Innov-E is opening up for contributions for the Film Scholarship Fund. Today, inspiring creative use of mobile devices has progressed from short films to feature films such as “Olive” by Hooman Khalili.
Thus, we invite you to help us bridge the gap, by promoting the waves of creativity in youth and build a better present and future for us all. Please contribute to Innov-E Foundation today. You will be so happy you did! Thank You!
Our future depends on the positive impact we have on our youth today. At Innov-E Foundation we are striving to provide opportunities in the film making industry with youth in developing countries that may never have had a hope that they could do what they desired or dreamed of doing. Click to go to our website to learn more about Innov-E Foundation.
With so many youth now with special needs we are including these ‘special people’. If youth cannot speak but can write; cannot write but can sing; cannot sing but can dance, why not give them the chance to do what they love to do. Opening a new world to them could be the one thing that helps them socially, whether it’s to start speaking, interacting with others or whatever the situation.
The key is to creating an atmosphere of hope and creativity, helping youth throughout the world do what they would love to do, directing, acting, or producing films.
Won’t you join us in making an impact on the youth of today, the leaders of tomorrow by making a donation to Innov-E Foundation? Your qualifying donations are tax deductible.
“If we are to reach real peace in this world… we shall have to begin with children.” – Mahatma Gandhi