In the US, a woman is beaten every 9 seconds by an intimate or former partner.
More than five million women per year are battered by an intimate partner, and of these, one million will require medical care. Three-quarters of these women are injured in the head or neck area.
While domestic violence is an issue every day of every month of every year for those affected, October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The month helps raise awareness about the issue, but also focuses on hope for a better future.
Many of these individuals have severe psychological scars from repeated trauma, but they also have significant facial injuries. Treatment must address the invisible and visible wounds so that she isn’t retraumatized each time she looks in the mirror.
Facial reconstruction is often the final step, and many members of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons (AAFPRS) provide their service pro bono to these women via Face to Face: The National Domestic Violence Project.
New York City facial plastic surgeon Andrew Jacopo, MD, is one of them. “As a senior advisor and a volunteer facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon for Face to Face, I have seen how surgeons from the AAFPRS can make a difference in the lives of the women and children all over the world,” he tells Plastic Surgery Practice. “We provide pro bono consultations and surgery to domestic violence survivors who have suffered injuries to the face, head, and neck. We plan on continuing to grow our outreach and increase the number of participating surgeons in this program over the next decade.
Face to Face was started in 1994 by the Educational and Research Foundation for the AAFPRS. The toll-free number for the Face to Face Program is (800) 842-4546.