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Domestic Violence Data Tracker

There is a hidden epidemic of traumatic brain injury due to intimate partner violence in the United States, with an estimated 1.6 million brain injuries occurring annually among survivors of domestic abuse. Currently, however, no quantitative data exist that characterize the typical accelerations, durations, and frequencies of domestic violence insults that lead to injury. In this project, an industrial designer and a biomedical engineer have partnered to develop the first domestic violence incident detection and data capturing device in the form of an unobtrusive wearable that houses an accelerometer and other sensors and transmitters. The device could eventually be offered in the prenatal care setting, since domestic violence is the most common health problem among women during pregnancy. Eventually, the device will be able to alert emergency contacts or social workers, and the data collected by the device will enable the first biomechanical studies of typical domestic violence injuries, similar to the extensive biomechanical studies that have been carried out for sports and motor vehicle injuries. These studies could lead to the development of much-needed evidence-based public health and legal guidelines related to intimate partner violence.