Domestic violence-related traumatic brain injury (DV-TBI) is a silent public health pandemic that destroys lives. In the United States (US), millions of women, children, and incur TBI and neurodegenerative diseases from domestic violence. The symptoms of DV-TBI and progressive neurodegenerative diseases such as CTE can be debilitating and impair the ability of individuals affected to fully participate in the workforce, in education, in their communities, and in all aspects of life. Many end up dying as a result.
Pánfila Domestic Violence HOPE Foundation (“Pánfila”) was created to ensure that brain injuries suffered by persons who experience domestic violence will no longer be overlooked.
Just as our society could not ignore evidence of an epidemic of lung cancer caused by tobacco, in our times, we must demand action in response to the pandemic of DV-TBI and DV-CTE.
Pánfila believes our society will demand action in response to the silent pandemic of DV-TBI. Science will be the game-changing factor that ends the stigma of domestic violence and opens up long-needed conversations about saving lives while developing needed treatment and resources to all individuals suffering from DV-TBI and progressive neurodegenerative diseases like CTE.
Dr. Garay-Serratos’ domestic violence – traumatic brain injury (DV-TBI) journey in the wake of learning that her mother’s repeated blows to the head from María’s father caused chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and possibly early-onset Alzheimer’s disease (AD), serves as the backdrop for This Hits Home, a powerful new feature documentary . These progressive neurodegenerative disorders led to her mother’s premature death. Her resolve that all who are affected by DV must be heard and helped stems from the awareness that her father’s uncontrollable rages, impulses, irritability, etc. were from CTE as a result of the DV-TBI he suffered throughout his childhood at the hands of his father.
This Hits Home reveals the invisible and silent epidemic of permanent TBI in women devastated by DV in the US. Along with Dr. Garay-Serratos’ story, the intimate and compelling stories of courageous DV females victims, survivors, and thrivers, insights from lawmakers and DV authorities, and the shocking revelations from world renowned experts at the Mayo Clinic, Harvard University, Boston University, and the University of Pennsylvania, combine to paint a chilling portrait of brain injury that forever changes the lives of individuals impacted by DV. Supported by the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) and the American Brain Foundation (ABF), this feature unearths a distressing truth, begins a global discussion, and sounds the alarm for a call to action.
Dr. Garay-Serratos is the Protagonist, Associate Producer, and DV-TBI/CTE Expert Consultant for This Hits Home.