Brain Injury and Domestic Violence: Screening, Safety Planning and Advocacy

Wednesday, February 24, 2021
1:00 pm2:00 pm

Trainers: Peggy Reisher, MSW, Brain Injury Alliance of Nebraska
Amber Jurgens, Health Navigator, Friendship Home

Webinar Description:
Course Objectives:
· Participants will increase knowledge and screening techniques related to the effects of traumatic brain injury on domestic violence survivors.
· Participants will learn advocacy strategies, safety planning, and resources when serving those experiencing brain injury and domestic violence.

Brain injury research in domestic violence is limited. The targeting of head/face in assaults makes the likelihood of brain injury greater in those exposed to domestic violence. They may also have increased exposure to repeated brain injury.

Brain injury has an immediate cognitive, emotional, and physical consequence with lasting and potentially permanent repercussions. Single or repeated brain injury may make it more difficult to think effectively, be physically healthy, seek help, identify and utilize resources, make sound decisions, and be interpersonally effective. Individuals with brain injury may appear to be disorganized, aggressive, temperamental, or confused and have physical symptoms such as headaches, changes in vision, hearing loss, or difficulty with balance. If these symptoms are misunderstood the individual may not get the needed help or may be inappropriately classified.

In a 2018 project Brain Injury Alliance of Nebraska worked with domestic violence programs which screened individuals entering their program. 58% of those screens were positive for potential brain injury. 91% reported sustaining the brain injury due to being hit in the head or strangled and 31% endorsed multiple events where their head was struck or they were strangled. 88% reported some functional difficulty and/or physical symptomology related to the incident

Please join us to learn about brain injuries and strategies for supporting Survivors you empower on a daily basis.


Peggy Reisher: Peggy Reisher has a Master’s Degree in Social Work and is the executive director of the Brain Injury Alliance of Nebraska (BIA-NE) whose organizational mission is to create a better future for all Nebraskans through brain injury prevention, education, advocacy and support. Reisher has over 25 years of experience working and advocating for individuals with brain injury and their families across the state of Nebraska.

Amber Jurgens: Amber Jurgens has nearly 15 years of experience in the field of domestic violence, working directly with both victims and offenders. She has worked at Friendship Home in Lincoln, NE since 2016. Beginning her work as a Women’s Advocate, she transitioned to the role of Health Navigator in May of 2018. Through her position as Health Navigator, Amber helped facilitate Friendship Home’s participation in the project, Brain Injury and Domestic Violence: Making the Connection and Improving Care with the Brain Injury Alliance of Nebraska and the University of Nebraska. Amber has continued Friendship Home’s work with these collaborative partners, making brain injury screening and advocacy a core service offered to survivors. A previous career as a probation officer for over eight years gives her an in depth understanding of offender behavior, and a holistic view of domestic violence advocacy. Amber has a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she studied Family Science and Sociology, and a Master of Arts Degree in Human Services. She is also a survivor of domestic violence, which drives her passion for advocacy.

Register at this link:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email from Zoom containing information about joining the training.

Our Partners

245 S. 84th Street
Suite 200
Lincoln, NE 68510

© Nebraska Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence 2021

Powered by Firespring