Photo: Talking to your Doctor

Talking to your Doctor

Discussing IPV and TBI with a doctor can be challenging, particularly if a survivor and their abusive partner have the same doctor or if a survivor does not have a family doctor. They can also be difficult for doctors who may not have much experience with IPV and TBI.

It is recommended that if a person might have a TBI, they should see a medical doctor or nurse practitioner as soon as it is safe. If you think you might have an IPV-TBI, consider going to an emergency department or making an appointment with your primary care provider. They can help you get the care you need and find other services, such as shelters, safety plans, victim services, and brain injury support groups.

In Canada, doctors and healthcare providers are not requiredto report incidents of intimate partner violence to police. But, they do need to contact Child Protective Services if they feel children are at risk of harm.

Below are some important things to share with a doctor to help them identify TBI.

  • Share some details about how you were injured and what parts of your body were injured
  • Provide information about your past medical history including prior instances of head injury or other medical conditions that could affect your symptoms and medical care (e.g. history of mental health conditions, substance use, pregnancy)
  • Describe your current symptoms and concerns and how they are impacting your life at home, work, and/or school
  • If you have concerns about your personal or your children’s safety, it is important tell your doctor so they can help you develop a safety plan and connect you to supportive services as needed