Local organization helps domestic abuse victim

Friday, June 10, 2011

Repairing the physical and emotional scars of domestic abuse can take years, and it can't be done alone.

One local organization is trying to help one woman get her smile back.

As young woman, Rebecca Rogers had a winning personality and a quick smile, but an abusive husband ruined her dreams of a happy adult life.

"It started with little things; little punches," said Rebecca. "I never touched him. And then he threw a plant stand in my face."

She says 8 teeth were gone in a flash. It took her a year to get out of the abusive marriage. Attempts to fix her teeth never worked. It affected her appearance and her self-esteem.

She would cover her face when she was around people.

By last winter, she was so withdrawn that she ended up living on the streets.

Then she made contact with the "Beginning Over foundation." It helps abused women get back on their feet.

Founder Heidi Markow saw beyond Rebecca's initial appearance.

"This is not a homeless woman, this is a woman that has so many hopes and dreams," said Heidi Markow.

And so the rebuilding effort began, emotionally and physically.

Dr. Robert Laski of Valley Oral Surgery, along with another dental specialist, are donating the dental work Rebecca needs.

"Long term, she will most likely end up having to lose all of her upper teeth, and at least 3 of the lower teeth," explained Dr. Laski.

Replacing bad teeth with implants and dentures could take up to a year, and it's worth tens of thousands of dollars. But Dr. Laski says he's glad to help.

"The community has done so much for us," said Dr. Laski. "The least we can do as a practice is help someone rebuild their life."

Rebecca also received help from a local car dealership who gave her a car. She is using it to find a new home and a job.

Action News will check in with her in several months to see the transformation.

(Copyright ©2014 WPVI-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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abuse, health care, healthcheck, ali gorman, r.n.
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