People in New York who suffered a brain injury may face a lifetime of medical treatment, emotional challenges and cognitive problems such as memory loss, among other challenges. The federal government, however, reported that people living with traumatic brain injury may be susceptible to victimization. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in fact, considers this victimization a serious public health problem.
Victimization occurs when a person is subject to or threatened with physical, emotional or financial harm. Sexual abuse, emotional abuse, verbal abuse, threats and physical abuse constitute victimization. Neglect is also considered to be a form of victimization where the person’s basic needs for food, clothing, hygiene, protection, medical care and other necessities are not met.
Victimization can occur anywhere but usually takes place in isolated locations where the victim has little control of the environment, and law enforcement cannot observe the situation. Institutional settings are also areas where victimization occurs, because physical and sexual violence, abuse and neglect can occur and remain unreported or undetected.
A person with TBI is susceptible to victimization because of several relationship factors. They often have anger management difficulties, which may prompt the use of undue physical force or inappropriate medication. The outcomes of TBI may affect other people’s perceptions of the victim to honestly and accurately report victimization incidents. Persons with TBI or other disabilities may suffer abuse, violence or neglect in return for the caregiver providing access to medication, adaptive equipment or other assistance.
Assistance is not only required where victimization occurs. Those who caused another to suffer a TBI through negligence or recklessness may also be held liable for treatment, rehabilitation, job loss or other problems caused by TBI. Victims may want to seek representation to ensure that their rights are protected.
Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Victimization of persons with traumatic brain injury or other disabilities,” Accessed Oct. 24, 2014