How can I best respond to victims of domestic violence whose partners struggle with combat-related PTSD or TBI?
As veterans return from war zones in greater numbers, the NRCDV has seen an increase in requests from advocates who struggle to address the added complications that wartime experiences can bring to intimate relationships. Coming across the emotional journey of veteran Scott Ostrom through a striking photo blog, staff at the NRCDV felt moved to use this story to restart the conversation about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) among war veterans, and specifically highlight how this impacts the work of domestic violence advocates. Returning home to the U.S. with a severe case of post-traumatic stress disorder, 27 year-old Scott “has struggled with daily life, from finding and keeping employment to maintaining healthy relationships.” PTSD and TBI are not new issues to domestic violence advocates, especially as these relate to victims and survivors, who are at great risk for psychological trauma and head injuries. What has been emerging is an increased understanding of the implications to the domestic violence field of PTSD and TBI among veterans who return home to their partners and families. Scott’s story is being referenced here not as an example of domestic violence but rather as a powerful illustration of the toll PTSD can take on one’s life and relationships.