Part 1: Invisible Injuries: The Complex Intersection of Domestic Violence, Behavioral Health, Traumatic Brain Injury and Strangulation


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Part 1: Invisible Injuries: The Complex Intersection of Domestic Violence, Behavioral Health, Traumatic Brain Injury and Strangulation



The significant impact of domestic violence on a person’s behavioral health—including substance use and mental health conditions—has long been recognized by researchers and practitioners alike. In addition, the domestic violence movement has known for decades that abusers frequently assault their partners by targeting the head, neck, and face—through blows to the head that can cause traumatic brain injuries (concussions) and strangulation.  We are just discovering how that violence impacts the brain, and therefore a person’s health. Brain injury caused by domestic violence is rarely identified and almost never immediately treated, and results in short- and long-term physical, emotional, and cognitive consequences that can impact every area of a person’s life--including their ability to successfully access and participate in your agency's services. This session will share with you The Ohio Domestic Violence Network and The Ohio State University’s project and research that resulted in the creation of an evidence-based framework CARE (Connect, Acknowledge, Respond, Evaluate) and its accompanying CARE tools for you to use to address brain injury.




  • Describe the relationship between domestic violence and brain injury.
  • Explain the evidence-based framework: Connect, Acknowledge, Respond and Evaluate (CARE).
  • Promote CARE tools to address brain injury.




Rachel Ramirez


Rachel Ramirez, LISW-S, RASS, is the Director of Health and Disability Programs and the Founder of The Center on Partner-Inflicted Brain Injury at The Ohio Domestic Violence Network (ODVN). In this role, she oversees several initiatives on the intersection of domestic violence, disability, and health access, with a focus on trauma-informed services and partner-inflicted brain injury. She also provides extensive statewide, national, and international training, consultation, technical assistance, and program support. Rachel has been with ODVN for 15 years and has co-authored several peer reviewed journal articles, as well as been featured on National Public Radio, The New York Times Magazine, and The Washington Post discussing brain injury and domestic violence.




The Great Lakes MHTTC is offering this training for individuals working in HHS Region 5: IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI. This training is being provided in response to a need identified by Region 5 stakeholders.

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