In America, one in three women and one in four men accept been victims of concrete abandon by an affectionate partner. Most corruption occurs amid bodies who apperceive anniversary added able-bodied or accept been in a relationship. Emotional corruption is additionally a ample agency in calm corruption and can booty best to alleviate than concrete wounds or scars. Victims of corruption are no strangers to ambuscade their wounds for continued periods of time, but for some, they never stop hiding. One woman gave years to befitting abaft a affectation so no one could see the furnishings of her abuse. Then she abstruse that she didn’t accept to adumbrate anymore, and it was all because of one woman
She was looking forward to the life ahead of her, but when she was 28, her plans for the future changed drastically.
One beating was so bad it caused an infection that ate away at her face. She went to the hospital and was told she had three days to live, but she survived. She hid behind a mask and did so for the next 12 years.
“They could hear my voice so they knew who I was, but they didn’t know who I was because of my face. It was, ah, pretty awful.” But then she met Deborah Alessi, a survivor of domestic abuse herself.
They offer free facial reconstruction surgery to victims of physical abuse. “It’s very difficult sometimes … They have to look in the mirror and be reminded this man or this woman or this mother did this to me.” Her husband, Dr. David Alessi, performs the surgeries and together they were able to help Saundra.
Before she wasn’t able to close her left eye or open her mouth to eat. “This is a thousand times better than what I looked like when this first happened to me. I don’t think I could even describe how awful it was.”
But surgery is only part of the process. All patients must also go to therapy. “If they don’t get the therapy with the surgery, which we provide, then they are going to continue to date an abuser, and if we can help change that pattern, then that’s why we’re here,” says Deborah.
After surgery, all patients must sign a form saying they will pay it forward and become advocates for domestic abuse.
Now she says she has the confidence to go out in public without her mask and be an example to others. “If I can speak to one person and give them hope that this doesn’t have to happen to you, I think that it’s my job to do that.”