Photo: Facts and Statistics

Facts and Statistics

  • By 2031, traumatic brain injury (TBI) is expected to be among the most common neurological conditions affecting Canadians, along with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, and epilepsy1
  • TBI can affect anyone; it is not the result of belonging to any specific social group
  • However, some people are more affected than others due to life circumstances that increase their risk of injury
  • TBI is common amongst women survivors of IPV,2 homeless persons,3 persons using substances,4 and criminalized populations5
  • Strangulation is one of the most dangerous forms of IPV, increasing the risk of death in following assaults by 748%6
  • Strangulation can also cause brain injury, due to the brain being deprived of oxygen
  • Some victims can die weeks after being strangled because of the underlying brain damage, even if there is no visible injury7


1Public Health Agency of Canada, “Mapping Connections: An Understanding of Neurological Conditions in Canada,” Ottawa, 2014.

2A. S. Ivany and D. Schminkey, “Intimate partner violence and traumatic brain injury: State of the science and next steps,” Fam. Community Heal., vol. 39, no. 2, pp. 129–137, 2016.

3S. W. Hwang, A. Colantonio, S. Chiu, G. Tolomiczenko, A. Kiss, L. Cowan, D. A. Redelmeier, and W. Levinson, “The effect of traumatic brain injury on the health of homeless people,” CMAJ, vol. 179, no. 8, pp. 779–784, 2008.

4G. J. McHugo, S. Krassenbaum, S. Donley, J. D. Corrigan, J. Bogner, and R. E. Drake, “The Prevalence of Traumatic Brain Injury Among People With Co-Occurring Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders.,” J. Head Trauma Rehabil., vol. 32, no. 3, pp. E65–E74, 2017.

5E. J. Shiroma, P. L. Ferguson, and E. E. Pickelsimer, “Prevalence of traumatic brain injury in an offender population: A meta-analysis,” J. Correct. Heal. Care, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 147–159, 2010.

6N. Glass, K. Laughon, J. Campbell, C. R. Block, G. Hanson, P. W. Sharps, and E. Taliaferro, “Non-fatal Strangulation is an Important Risk Factor for Homicide of Women,” J. Emerg. Med., vol. 35, no. 3, pp. 329–335, 2008.

7Alberta Justice and Solicitor General and Alberta Crown Prosecution Service, “Domestic Violence Handbook for Police and Crown Prosecutors in Alberta,” Edmonton, AB, 2014.