This year’s Brain Injury Awareness Week, running from 20-26 August is taking the opportunity to help put a stop to family violence, a leading cause of brain injury in children.
The theme - inflicted traumatic brain injury - follows on from an Australian first report launched by Brain Injury Australia on 1 May, into family violence and brain injury.
Funded by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, the 68 page report titled The prevalence of acquired brain injury among victims and perpetrators of family violence revealed shocking statistics of the prevalence of brain injuries caused by acts of violence.
Among the findings, 31 percent of victims of family violence attending Victorian hospitals over a ten-year period were children under the age of 15, and 25 percent of these children sustained a brain injury.
Infants are at a greater risk of inflicted brain injury due to their physical vulnerability, with some symptoms of brain injuries including low-grade fever and irritable behaviour.
Executive Officer of Brain Injury Australia, Nick Rushworth says the week is a great opportunity to raise awareness among the community, parents and caregivers to help protect Australian children.
“Given one of the key findings from the research - that nearly 1 in every 3 of the victims of family violence were children, and, of those, 1 in every 4 had sustained a brain injury, Brain Injury Australia thought it was crucial to set aside specific attention to the assault on children,” he says.
Research within the report was undertaken over a five month period by Brain Injury Australia, Monash University, Domestic Violence Victoria, No to Violence and the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare.
The report also brought to light the significant gaps in service responses, ranging from a lack of screening for brain injury through to inadequate opportunities for rehabilitation, support and recovery.
Acquired brain injury, or ABI, is a common cause of disability, with over 700,000 Australians living with a brain injury that causes daily activity limitations according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Brain Injury Awareness Week is the perfect time to raise awareness for an injury that can affect people of all ages, with a shocking three-quarters of people with a brain injury reportedly men.
As part of the week, Brain Injury Australia will be hosting an event at Adelaide Oval in South Australia, where guest speakers will tell their lived experience of brain injury and the Brain Injury SA Awards for Service Excellence and Outstanding Achievement will be announced.
For more information on Brain Injury Awareness Week events near you, visit Brain Injury Australia’s website.
To download a copy of the report, click here.
For more information on disability support and services, please visit DisabilitySupportGuide.com.au