Random (but not really)

Friday, February 14, 2020

Want a Bigger Research Pool for Concussion Studies? Stop Focusing on Football Players

Violence against women has been an invisible epidemic pretty much forever. Even when we moved past “She must have provoked him” and “It takes two to make a fight” it still happens every day, across all classes. One quarter–25%–of all women will experience domestic violence.

So why do researchers focus on football players and soldiers when looking at the affects of repeated concussion? Most likely because these huge numbers of women are hidden. Women rarely talk about the violence perpetrated against them, for reasons of embarrassment but also of fear.

72% of all murder-suicides involve an intimate partner; 94% of the victims of these murder suicides are female.

Fear for their children. Fear for family members. Fear for themselves.

In 2017, 2,237 people were murdered by their intimate partners–a number that has been on the rise in recent years. Those murders didn’t just come out of left field–they generally come after violence and abuse and attempts by the victim to escape.

But because we don’t talk about these victims, because they are hidden in plain sight, researchers don’t even consider adding women to their research studies, even if their history of abuse has affected their health, income, and ability to work.

I have no answers or solutions, just a reminder that violence against women remains a problem in our society and our world. By forgetting about it, by allowing it to remain hidden, by allowing those who have been abused to feel shame and guilt and fear, we allow it to continue, and we fail to help those who have suffered not just the immediate bruises and broken bones and fear, but the long term affects of fear and trauma.

Research into athletes should continue, because they are the most obvious sufferers of repeated concussion, but researchers need to remember that their pool of candidates is far larger, and those who have suffered violence often don’t have the resources to help them deal with the long-term affects.

CTE Researchers Should Study Domestic Violence Survivors

National Statistics Domestic Violence Fact Sheet


Patrick Stewart: the legacy of domestic violence

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