October Is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF FACIAL PLASTIC AND RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY (AAFPRS) OFFERS SURVIVORS HOPE AND HEALING THROUGH UNIQUE “FACE TO FACE” PROGRAM

Alexandria, VA (September 29, 2011) – Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined; every nine seconds in the United States a woman is assaulted.1 The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) continues to set precedent in the medical community as the first surgical group to take a stand with its landmark humanitarian initiative, FACE TO FACE: The National Domestic Violence Project. Through this program, AAFPRS members provide pro-bono facial plastic and reconstructive surgery to individuals who could not otherwise afford treatment for injuries to the head, face or neck.  Since its founding in 1994, the AAFPRS estimates more than 2,500 women have been helped through the FACE TO FACE program.

“It is a tragic fact that three-quarters of women in abusive relationships receive injuries to their face and head,” said Dr. Tom D. Wang, President of the AAFPRS. “I am proud to be involved with FACE TO FACE because collectively we help break the cycle of abuse and enhance women’s self esteem by providing much-needed medical support.”  

AAFPRS surgeons, as well as nurses and anesthesiologists, are involved in the program – all of whom donate their time and expertise to treat one face at a time, one person at a time. 

In 1994, the AAFPRS sought advice from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV)—the umbrella group for the majority of safe homes and shelters in the United States— in order to develop FACE TO FACE: The National Domestic Violence Project.  This program further helps those affected by domestic violence to rebuild their lives by providing emotional counseling and support in addition to surgery. 

The AAFPRS and NCADV offer a 24-hour toll-free number (1-800-842-4546) for individuals who have sustained physical scars or injuries to the head, face, or neck as a result of domestic violence.  During the initial conversation, callers are screened to determine if their injuries are a result of domestic violence, if they are out of the abusive relationship and to obtain a brief description of the injuries sustained.

ABOUT FACE TO FACE
Founded in 1992, FACE TO FACE is a humanitarian and educational surgical exchange program sponsored by the Educational and Research Foundation for the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS).  Along with providing medical assistance to those affected by domestic violence in the United States, AAFPRS’ FACE TO FACE participants travel the world to provide complimentary care for those afflicted by facial deformities sustained at birth or by disease or war.  In addition, AAFPRS members share their knowledge and the latest techniques in facial plastic surgery with their international colleagues. To date, it is estimated that FACE TO FACE volunteers have helped approximately 3,500 people worldwide.

About the AAFPRS:
The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is the world’s largest specialty association for facial plastic surgery.  It represents more than 2,700 facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons throughout the world. The AAFPRS is a National Medical Specialty Society of the American Medical Association (AMA), and holds an official seat in both the AMA House of Delegates and the American College of Surgeons board of governors. AAFPRS members are board certified surgeons whose focus is surgery of the face, head, and neck. AAFPRS members subscribe to a code of ethics. In addition, the AAFPRS provide consumers with free information and brochures and a list of qualified facial plastic surgeons in their area by visiting the AAFPRS website, www.facemd.org.

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1.  Domestic Violence Statistics. Available at http://domesticviolencestatistics.org 
     domestic-violence-statistics/. Accessed 9/27/11.