Friday, September 30, 2011

Help for Cosmetic and Dental Work for Victims of Domestic Violence

The scars of domestic violence at once invisible—and often in prominent display.  Some people in the business of making others look their best are donating their services to get rid of the broken faces and teeth of domestic violence survivors.

In California, Face Forward is a medical team that contributes pro bono reconstructive surgery to adults and children disfigured in domestic and gang violence. Call 310-657-2253 for more information.

Face to Face is a project of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.  They work with domestic violence shelters to provide reconstructive surgery to the heads, faces and necks of victims who have reached a physically safe place and are beginning to move on with their lives.  Call the toll-free number 1-800-842-4546 to get the ball rolling.

For men and women needing cosmetic dental work to repair the damage of violence, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry sponsors Give Back a Smile, a program that takes survivors that have been out of the violent relationship for at least a year (if less, you get put on a waiting list).  The system isn’t totally freebie—after filling out the application—and paying a $20 application or putting in 10 hours of community work, you are eligible. 


Pierre Cardan said...

Whenever I see a woman whose bitter past is evident in her damaged teeth or face, I feel a desire to help fulfill her dream of bringing back her beauty and esteem so she can move on and be free again. At least, those groups made it possible for both women and men to restore the normal appearance of their faces.

Lawrence Gilstrap said...

They truly deserve this. Letting them undergo cosmetic procedures will uplift their confidence, and that may lead to a faster recovery physically and emotionally. Everyone deserves a sparkling smile. Kudos to the members of this awesome project!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful programs but I'm afraid it's too late for me. None of these were available when I needed them and could prove the abuse. After 14 years I am not in a shelter, have no proof of the abuse and never sought the help of a counselor for proof. Back then you just kept it to yourself because no one was going to help you anyway. So I am toothless, lost four upper and five lower to my abuser which caused all the other teeth to shift or become infected and ended up losing them all. I can't wear a regular denture, been through five of them, because of a high gag reflex on top and by the time they trimmed down past the gag reflex there was no suction to keep the top denture in. A bone on the bottom prevents a regular lower denture from being worn and the bone can't be removed, by the time they shaved the lower dentures down over the bone you could read a newspaper through them and they still caused blisters and infections. I was told I need an implant upper and lower denture,my only hope of having teeth. Of course none of those dentists would do pro bono or even let me make payments so here I am all these years later still with no teeth and no hope of ever having them, no self esteem and virtually home bound because I don't want to go out and be seen or have friends because I don't want to go out in public with them to do all the things friends do. I have very little income and by the time bills are paid there is nothing left to save. He won again, got what he wanted which was to make no one else want me and to make me feel worthless. I am so glad that there is now help for those that need it, it's about time someone took notice. Not doing so, in my case, just make me feel like the abuse was still happening this time by those that had the ability to fix it and wouldn't. Good luck to you all and I hope you all have beautiful smiles to help erase the ugly scars abuse leaves.

Anonymous said...

I was assaulted by my husband on 2012, he punched the left side of my face. The police officer who arrested him it turns to be his friend. So all the pictures that they took me after the incident, and as evidence. Disappear in the criminal court, I took some pictures as well my mother did take more. At the beginning was more pain on my left eye, ear and part of my jaw. Then it turns out that as he punched my upper molars and tooth from that side started pushing down the lower molars in the way to fit my bite. So after a year I've got seeing from different dentist but anyone wants to write me a report for court. As a statement from the injuries that I have been suffering from now on since the punched. One dentist made me an extraction and he has to do it twice, though the roots were shattered in little pieces, and he said that it was because the impact of the punched. I had to get seen by many dentists before, and pay a lot of money. Until this dentist made the surgery. After that I couldn't replace it with a bridge or anything because the expensive that it takes. My bite now is pushing down all my molars down and towards the right as a result of this my face looks like I've a dimple on the left side because the hole, and now I have problems to chew and as well every time that the weather is humidity I'm suffering from awful pain. I feel like a reminder of what he did to me every day and as well my self esteem has changed. I don't like to smile because my face totally change. So I've been avoiding to get seen by people who knows me before. Please if someone knows who could help me, I'd be very grateful. As well he left my son and myself homeless, and I was in a shelter, for domestic violence. Now I'm living with my parents and I've to take care of a child who has special needs. I know that I was lucky as the paramedics who went to my house after the last time he assault me, but it's hard because you don't only have a scar on your mind and heart. You have to live with this issues that might sound frivolous, but for me isn't that because now I can't eat everything, and everyday I've to struggle with the pain and shy so far. I can't forget about it, because it's a daily remainder!!! Thanks and blessings

Linda Koss said...

Call the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at (703) 299-9291, and ask for a referral in your area. If the police lost the records, see if your mom has any pictures from the incidents as evidence.