Facial Plastic Surgeons Who Helped 1,250 Battered Women Commend Bloomberg Plan to Aid Domestic Violence Victims

NEW YORK, May 15, 2003 — Mayor Bloomberg’s new initiative against domestic violence was applauded today by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS), which performed 1,250 complimentary surgeries on women to erase the scars of domestic violence through its ongoing FACE TO FACE: The National Domestic Violence Project.

“New York City’s bold step to reach out to the victims of domestic violence provides a desperately needed safety net for these women,” said AAFPRS President Dr. Dean Toriumi. “As surgeons, we can make a difference by repairing the physical scars that the patient has endured to the face, head and neck, which is a major stepping stone in helping to rebuild a person’s self-esteem so they can look forward to a productive future.”

Over 75 percent of women who are in an abusive relationship are battered in the face and head, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), a partner in FACE TO FACE: The National Domestic Violence Project. In the United States, a woman is beaten every nine seconds by an intimate or a former partner. More than 1 million women require medical attention each year as a result.

More than 1,250 women have been helped by the FACE TO FACE program since it was founded in 1994. Over 275 AAFPRS surgeons participate in the program nationwide and of those, 13 are NYC facial plastic surgeons.

The AAFPRS is the largest international association of facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons. The FACE TO FACE project was created to help repair both physical and psychological scars by providing complimentary consultation and surgery to domestic violence survivors who have suffered injuries to the face, head or neck.

As part of the program, the AAFPRS and NCADV offer a 24-hour toll free number,
and work hand-in-hand with shelters nationwide to ensure that the individual is helped emotionally as well as physically. After the psychological healing has begun (with the help of professional counseling) and the victim is safely away from the violent relationship, she is referred to a local participating AAFPRS surgeon to repair the damaged facial features and to hopefully alleviate the painful memories of past abuse.

The AAFPRS is the world’s largest association of facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons with more than 2,600 members – whose cosmetic reconstructive surgery focuses on the face, head and neck. Academy fellows are board-certified and subscribe to a code of ethics. In addition, the AAFPRS provides consumers with free information and brochures and a list of qualified facial plastic surgeons in their area by calling 1-800-332-FACE or by visiting the AAFPRS Web Site, www.FACEMD.org.