press release

The Brain Injury Association of Virginia has received a 1-year grant from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) to fund a project focusing on domestic violence (DV) and traumatic brain injury (TBI). The project will focus on developing and implementing new programs to screen for brain injury in domestic violence shelters throughout Virginia.

The Brain Injury Association of Virginia has served as a voice for Virginia’s brain injury community for 38 years and continues to develop new initiatives to reach more people. The Association was awarded the VDH grant because of the growing need to address how brain injury and domestic violence are intertwined. Current research shows 75% of women who experienced DV sustained a TBI directly connected to their partner and 50% of women sustained repetitive partner-related TBIs. Research by BIAV Board Member, Trish Smith, indicates approximately 23,000,000 women who have experienced DV also live with a TBI.

The Association’s Executive Director, Anne McDonnell, said, “I’ve known many people who sustained their brain injury as a result of domestic violence, and this is a project I’ve dreamed of for some time. The thought that we might be able to create better outcomes for these survivors is exciting, and we are committed to doing everything we can to increase the awareness of the issue and improve the system of care.”

The Association hired a new contractor to oversee the project, which will continue through the end of 2021.


About The Brain Injury Association of Virginia: The Brain Injury Association of Virginia is the primary source of information and personal support for thousands of individuals, families, and professionals living in Virginia whose lives have been touched by a life‐altering, often devastating brain injury. The mission of the Association is to advance education, awareness, support, treatment and research to improve the quality of life for all people affected by brain injury. For more information visit