Supporting Employment in Brain Injured Women Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence
Primary Investor (PI): Angela Colantonio
Project Team: Halina (Lin) Haag); Danielle Toccalino
1 in 4 Canadian women will experience intimate partner violence (IPV) over their lifetime. The most common injuries are from battery to the face, head, and neck, including strangulation, leaving as many as 75% of women survivors vulnerable to traumatic brain injury (TBI). Individually, both TBI and IPV are associated with higher rates of unemployment, poverty, and homelessness, along with increased challenges with mental health and addictions (MHA). As social determinants of health, employment status and reduced income impact women’s wellbeing through access to safe accommodations, food security, and disability supports, potentially leaving them vulnerable to ongoing violence causing permanent disability. Complicating the problem, the intersection of TBI and IPV has been widely overlooked in research, practice, and policy arenas, leaving a critical gap in knowledge and education across IPV, TBI, MHA, and employment sectors. The development of the Abused & Brain Injured Toolkit by this team was the first Canadian step to address this issue and our goal now is to expand upon this success through the addition of specialized educational materials focused on employment and mental health.
We aim to provide in-depth information about the intersection between TBI and IPV, and its implications for women’s mental health and employment in order to develop and implement knowledge materials intended to support brain injured women survivors of IPV. This goal will be achieved through the following objectives:
- Explore specific employment and MHA related barriers and supports, service needs, and priorities for brain injured women survivors of IPV;
- Identify the needs, priorities, facilitators, and barriers to service delivery among front-line providers and employers regarding support of brain injured women survivors of IPV;
- Develop and implement stakeholder informed, innovative strategies and materials to address identified challenges and determine viability and effectiveness prior to scale up and widespread distribution.
Working together with a team of stakeholders and community partners, we hope to improve outcomes for women survivors by identifying and addressing knowledge and service gaps, and developing and implementing innovative approaches to supporting brain injured women survivors of intimate partner violence.