She remembered the cord around her hands, her daughter being punched in the face, at one point being thrown against the car, but bits and pieces are gone or jumbled. She was one of the lucky ones; she is still alive, but her brain and life will never be the same.

Traumatic brain injury (T.B.I.) happens as a result of strangulation or blunt force trauma to the head.  Over 50% of domestic violence victims experience being strangled. It often goes unrecognized and the damage not diagnosed because strangulation alone may only leave slight bruising.  Both police and doctors are often not trained to ask the right questions and do the right tests in order to determine whether women have experienced being strangled. Sometimes victims don’t remember or only remember losing consciousness. The consequences of not recognizing when a woman has been strangled is devastating, According to “Sylvia Vella, a clinician and a detective in the domestic-violence unit at the San Diego Police Department, ‘Statistically, we know now that once the hands are on the neck the very next step is homicide.'”

Read Rachel Louise Snyder’s piece at The New Yorker


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