Restoring Survivor Confidence Through Pro Bono Support + Surgery

San Diego, C.A., - October 2, 2019The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS), the world’s largest association of facial plastic surgeons, today announced a new partnership between its FACE TO FACE humanitarian program and Break the Silence Foundation (BTSF), a non-profit organization that provides participants with the necessary tools to help them end the cycle of abuse and regain their lives. The announcement took place at the 2019 AAFPRS Annual Meeting, a three-day facial plastic surgery conference being held in San Diego.

One million of the five million women affected each year by domestic violence in the US require medical attention, and the scars extend far beyond the physical impact. FACE TO FACE: The Domestic Violence Project and BTSF are joining forces to help heal domestic violence survivors external and internal selves, empowering them to lead successful, happy lives, free from toxic violence and abuse. BTSF provides educational
workshops and workforce development while FACE TO FACE addresses the outward scars that remain a lingering reminder of past trauma.

FACE TO FACE offers pro bono facial plastic and reconstructive surgery to domestic violence survivors to repair injuries of the face, head and neck caused by an intimate partner or spouse.

“Our FACE TO FACE surgeons volunteer their time and skills to help victims of domestic violence who have suffered facial trauma,” says Manoj T. Abraham, MD, Chair of FACE TO FACE. “FACE TO FACE has helped more than 1,000 women since its inception in 1994, and we are excited to continue our work and broaden our impact with this new partnership with BTSF. October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, making this the perfect time to draw much needed attention to our life-changing mission.”

FACE TO FACE will now work with BTSF to screen candidates, review applications and assign a participating volunteer facial plastic surgeon to eligible candidates. FACE TO FACE and BTSF have a rigorous screening process, which includes:

  1. The applicant must have received the physical injuries from an abusive intimate partner, spouse, parent or sibling.
  2. The applicant must be out of the situation for at least twelve months. 
  3. All applicants must have had contact with a domestic violence advocate, social worker, case manager, counselor, faith leader or therapist a minimum of (2) two times and this individual or organization must provide a typed letter summarizing the applicant’s readiness to begin the physical aspects of your healing process.
“The modern goal for facial plastic surgery is refreshingly natural,” says Dr. Phillip R. Langsdon, MD, AAFPRS President. “It is our hope that by helping improve the visible evidence of the suffering these domestic violence survivors have endured, we can help them heal and return to their families, work and communities.”

“This partnership allows Break the Silence Foundation to continue to play a part in helping domestic violence survivors heal both emotionally and physically,” says Anita Alvarez, Board Chair of Break The Silence Foundation. “We are honored to be joining the AAFPRS in this endeavor.”
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AAFPRS 
Twitter: @AAFPRS 
Instagram: @AAFPRS

In the early 1990s, the FACE TO FACE humanitarian program was established by the Educational and Research Foundation for the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS Foundation) so that AAFPRS members could volunteer to use their skills and share their talent in helping less fortunate individuals in need, both here in the United States and abroad.

There are three arms to the FACE TO FACE Program:

  • FACE TO FACE: International brings AAFPRS members to third world countries where they treat children with facial birth defects and anomalies.
  • FACE TO FACE: The National Domestic Violence Project allows AAFPRS members to perform surgeries on survivors of domestic abuse here in the United States, who have received injuries to their faces.
  • FACES OF HONOR offers free surgical care for soldiers who have been injured in the line of duty.


The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is the world’s largest specialty association for facial plastic surgery. It represents more than 2,500 facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons who perform plastic surgery of the face, head, and neck, and the majority of rhinoplasties, throughout the world. www.AAFPRS.org

Break the Silence Foundation (BTSF) provides a safe, violence free environment and support to all program participants. The Chrysalis Program is twofold. BTSF provides full support and domestic violence counseling to those individuals and families experiencing domestic abuse and a series of workshops designed to help participants end the cycle of abuse. BTSF educates and prepares members on how to have future
healthy relationships. Workshops are designed to help members grow and overcome abusive relationships, by providing them with tools for self-improvement, and guidance on how to avoid falling into future abusive relationships.

Patty Mathews - pattymathews@kelzpr.com
Sheila McCrink - sheila@kelzpr.com