A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is defined as a specific type of damage to the brain that is caused by external physical force and is not present at birth or degenerative. A blow (or blows) to the head, shaking of the brain, exposure to blasts, loss of oxygen (anoxia), and/or colliding with a stationary object can cause a TBI.
Direct exposure to explosions is among the leading causes of TBI among active military duty personnel. Blasts account for 69% of TBI cases in the recent conflicts (Fischer 2007). In light of the high number of veterans returning from the recent conflicts with a brain injury, there are reasons to expect that the anti-violence field will encounter this growing population from different entry points (domestic violence victims’ service providers, rape crisis centers, batterer intervention programs, victim advocates located within the civil/criminal legal system).
Persons with a TBI may experience some of the common behavioral problems associated with this kind of brain damage. They may include impulsivity, irritability, decreased frustration tolerance, impaired judgment, tension/anxiety, depression, aggressive behaviors, disinhibition, changed sexual drive and overall, and changes in that individual’s personality (Avner, 2010).