Answering the call for action from practitioners, in response to family violence

Elizabeth Pritchard, Toni Withiel, Caroline Anne Fisher

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Background and Objectives: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be a precursor to perpetration of family violence and family violence can result in a TBI, yet the connection between these two phenomena has not been well researched. Study was funded by the Department of Health and Human Services Victoria in response to the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence; in collaboration with Brain Injury Australia and peak bodies. Objective: To explore the perceived incidence, prevalence and contributing factors to these phenomena, with practitioners who work in health, social, and justice sectors with victims and/or perpetrators of family violence.
Method: Convenience sampling identified participants working with women, men, children, refugees and Culturally And Linguistically Diverse populations. Semi-structured interviews were conducted, audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data were analysed using inductive and deductive thematic analysis to determine a model of factors regarding the integration of these two phenomena. Triangulation was completed with systematic review results to provide a robust nexus model.
Results: Twenty-one interviews and one focus group were conducted with representation from crises, acute and long-term services. The Brain injury and Family violence Nexus model (BFN) identified causes of TBI including; assault, transport crashes, sport and military experiences. Biological factors, relationships, previous experience and stressors influenced family violence. Multi-complex factors impacted the nexus between TBI and family violence.
Conclusions: All clinicians need to be aware of the interconnection between TBI and family violence. This is a call to action to create clear processes to identify and address these areas across all services.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventAnnual Conference of the Australian-Society-for-the-Study-of-Brain-Impairment 2019 - Wellington, New Zealand
Duration: 2 May 20194 May 2019
Conference number: 42nd


ConferenceAnnual Conference of the Australian-Society-for-the-Study-of-Brain-Impairment 2019
Abbreviated titleASSBI/NZRA 2019
Country/TerritoryNew Zealand
OtherAnnual Conference of the Australian-Society-for-the-Study-of-Brain-Impairment and the Bi-Annual New Zealand Rehabilitation Association's Conference 2019
Internet address


  • Family violence
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Practitioner research

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