Face to Face
Face to Face – The National Domestic Violence Project
The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) Foundation connects victims of domestic violence with Facial Plastic Surgeons in their community. The AAFPRS Foundation was the first surgical group to take a firm stand and become involved in assisting survivors of domestic violence.
Do you ever wonder what happens to the survivors of domestic violence after the abuser has traumatized their faces? Many of them receive severe facial injuries. Cigarette burns, broken noses, sunken cheekbones or gashes are painful daily reminders of the unwanted abuse. Due to financial reasons and/or feelings of low self-esteem they are not able to receive adequate medical care. Even though emotional scars will heal over time with the support of others, the physical ones do not fade on their own. Some live with their scars for the rest of their lives. These individuals, primarily women, are a forgotten segment of society.
Dr. Velargo is humbled and dedicated to offer consultation and surgery pro bono to survivors of domestic violence thereby enhancing their self-esteem and aiding them in rebuilding their lives.
Am I a candidate for pro bono surgery with Dr. Velargo?
Dr. Velargo offers pro bono (free) consultation and surgery for victims of domestic violence who are burdened with physical scars or injuries located on the head, face, and neck. All potential candidates must follow these guidelines prior to consultation with Dr. Velargo:
1) The Initial Call. The AAFPRS and National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) offer a 24-hour toll-free number – 1-800-842-4546 – for victims of domestic violence. 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.
2) 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.
3) 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. At this time, Dr. Velargo one of only two surgeons in the New Orleans area that participate in this humanitarian program. You may request his services during your call with the domestic violence coordinator.
4) The consultation. You will then meet with Dr. Velargo, and a plan of care will be established to get you on the road to rebuilding your life.
Will my operating room and anesthesia fees be covered as part of the program?
If the procedures cannot be adequately performed under local anesthesia in his clinic procedure room, Dr. Velargo will work with local hospital surgical centers to waive or greatly reduce these fees.
Where can I learn more about Face to Face and domestic violence support?
Contact the New Orleans Center for Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery today to find out more about Dr. Velargo’s pro bono work with Face to Face.