Organization offers free dental services to victims of domestic violence
Wed, 07 Nov 2012 17:20:58 GMT — Millions of women are victims of domestic violence every year. Aside from the emotional scarring, there can be physical scarring as well.The Safe Passage organization provides women battered women with therapy, support and classes that help them find work. It also introduces them to dentists who can heal their battered smiles.The abuse they suffer often leaves horrible marks on their faces, and those dentists help bring their smile back.Rebecca Fowler's husband beat her time and time again for ten years. But one night, at gunpoint, Rebecca got lucky and found the strength she needed."My husband held me at gunpoint when I had my youngest daughter in my arms," says Fowler. "I didn't know if I was going to live through that night. He had told me that he was going to kill me and both my kids and himself. I prayed you know, I wanted God to just let it end. I was so afraid.""He fell asleep and the gun fell and when it hit the ground, it went off. I just knew, I grabbed my daughters and I went out the front door," says Fowler.Rebecca had to hide from her husband for two years; until she met Trish Steele who runs Safe Passage, a nonprofit organization which helps victims of domestic violence get their lives and self-respect back."I saw women that were black, white, Hispanic, Asian," says Rebecca. "And the one thing every one of us in that room had in common was that we were women who were victims of domestic violence." Safe Passage makes sure that each and every victim gets support, therapy, classes that help them find work, and introductions to dentists like Bill Dorfman and Jonathan Rubner who treat their battered faces to give them their smiles back, for free.Dentist Bill Dorfman says Rebecca was missing a lot of teeth and a lot were rotted or decayed."She was in a lot of pain. We extracted nearly all of her teeth. We made her new partial dentures that are really beautiful," says Dorfman."With the strength they gave me it helped me lose the fear and the self doubt to say you know what its never too late," says Rebecca. I went from being a person not wanting to get out of the bed in the morning, not wanting to face my kids, not wanting to face my family, too ashamed and too embarrassed of how long I dealt with it, to being a woman that said you know what, I lived in an abusive relationship for 10 years, but I got the courage to walk away."(Information courtesy NBC News)
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