The Facts

  • Domestic violence is a pattern of coercion that can include repeated battering and injury, psychological abuse, sexual assault, progressive social isolation, deprivation and intimidation
  • Over five million women a year are affected by domestic violence in the United States; over one million victims require medical attention
  • In the United States, a woman is beaten every nine seconds by an intimate or former partner
  • 75 percent of women who are in an abusive relationship receive battering to their face and head area
  • Women are more often victims of domestic violence than victims of burglary, muggings or other physical crime combined
  • Women who leave their batterers are at 75 percent greater risk of severe injury or death than those who stay
  • 42 percent of murdered women in the United States are killed by their intimate partners

The National Domestic Project…
The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) through its Educational and Research Foundation, is the first surgical group to take a firm stand against domestic violence. Through surgery, counseling, and support, the AAFPRS is helping victims to break out of the cycle of abuse, enhance their self-esteem and begin to rebuild their lives. In 1994, the AAFPRS teamed up with the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) – the umbrella group for a majority of shelters in the United States – to develop FACE TO FACE: The National Domestic Violence Project. The AAFPRS works hand-in-hand with shelters nationwide in making sure 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, surgery is performed to repair damaged facial features and to hopefully alleviate the painful memories of past abuse.

The AAFPRS is leading the medical community in the fight against domestic violence by helping to empower individuals who have been physically abused. Participating AAFPRS surgeons offer complimentary consultation and surgery to survivors of domestic violence.

AAFPRS Is Taking A Firm Stand…
The initial call.
The AAFPRS and NCADV offer a 24-hour toll-free number – 1-800-842-4546 – for victims of domestic violence who are burdened with physical scars or injuries located on the head, face, and neck. During the initial call, survivors 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.

A domestic violence shelter must be contacted.
The survivor is given the name of a domestic violence shelter in their local area and advised to set up an appointment with a domestic violence counselor at the program. There are two purposes for this appointment: to receive verification from an independent source that the injuries are due to domestic violence, and to ensure that all participants are attending a local domestic violence program. It is anticipated that the individuals requesting services will have been out of the violent situation for at least one-year.

Facial plastic surgeon referral.
The shelter counselor then contacts the AAFPRS domestic violence coordinator to confirm that the individual has begun the inner healing process and is out of the abusive relationship. The next step is a referral to an AAFPRS local surgeon who will provide complimentary consultation and surgery.

The process is simple – no forms are required – just the heartfelt desire of individuals to empower their own lives, make the changes that are necessary to free themselves from harmful situations and to move away from the emotional and physical effects of abuse.

The AAFPRS is the world’s largest association of facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons – with more than 2,600 members – whose cosmetic and reconstructive surgery focuses on the face, head and neck. Academy fellows are board-certified and subscribe to a code of ethics.

Partial funding for this program has been provided by Physician’s Choice of Arizona, Inc. and Allergan. We would also like to thank LifeCell Corporation for their donation of the product Alloderm, for use by patients in this program.

FACE TO FACE Humanitarian Programs