LONDON, Jan. 29, 2021
New statutory guidance will recognise that survivors of domestic abuse may have sustained an acquired brain injury (ABI) for the first time - following campaigning from The Disabilities Trust.
LONDON, Jan. 29, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The Trust is delighted that statutory guidance will now include consideration of brain injury as part of the Domestic Abuse Bill, currently being debated by the House of Lords, following work to raise this important issue, alongside Chris Bryant MP.
Domestic abuse protection orders - will now consider acquired brain injury as part of the range of needs any survivor may have. Where police are attending a call out to a domestic incident, in the community, they could be accompanied with or shortly after visited by an Independent Domestic Violence and Abuse Advisor.
This commitment from the government will also introduce new standard questions to ensure all prisoners in England will be screened for acquired brain injury sustained through domestic abuse from April 2021. The Disabilities Trust findings were put forward by Chris Bryant MP, who has long campaigned for recognition of the needs of those with a Brain Injury and has worked with The Disabilities Trust and UKABIF in a collaborative approach to highlight the need for this change.
Both initiatives - which will create a powerful impact in terms of protection and support - are the translation of five years of research from The Disabilities Trust in female offenders highlighting the link between domestic abuse and brain injury. Our research showed (64%) of women at HMP Drake Hall had a history of traumatic brain injury (TBI). From those identified, 62% reported they had sustained their brain injury through domestic violence.
The women The Disabilities Trust supported in HMP Drake Hall described to us prolonged periods of intense violence that was often directed towards their head while they were unconscious.
Chris Bryant, MP, said: "This is a journey that started with research from The Disabilities Trust and I've been delighted to work with them and a range of individuals and organisations including the UK Acquired Brain Injury Forum to ensure these important initiatives change practice and improve the support survivors receive both in the community and in prisons."
Irene Sobowale, Chief Executive of The Disabilities Trust said: "We hope that this change will ensure that survivors with a brain injury can be provided with effective support to address all of their needs including the often-hidden disability of a brain injury. This result builds on research from the Disabilities Trust working with partners and Government to achieve this."
Notes to Editors:
Brain injury key facts:
Incidence of female head injury has increased by 24% since 2005/6
162,544 hospital admissions for head injury (445 individuals every day or 1 every 3 minutes)
956 Acquired Brain Injury hospital admissions/day – 1 every 90 seconds
Find out more at www.thedtgroup.org