NEWS10 Special Report: Erasing the pain of domestic violence - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

NEWS10 Special Report: Erasing the pain of domestic violence

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LATHAM, N.Y. - Domestic violence is responsible for more injuries than car accidents, muggings and rapes combined. Every nine seconds, a woman in the United States is assaulted.

It's a silent epidemic, often doing damage both seen and unseen.

 "I came to New York with two kids and three suitcases. I didn't have a car, I didn't know a soul here," says Patti Monihan.

Hers is the face of a survivor. When Monihan lived out west, she says she spent every minute of every day in fear.

"It was abuse from my significant other. Pretty severe, yes I had four facial fractures and broken teeth," she says.

The last beating ten years ago nearly killed her, putting her in the hospital for a week. When he went to prison, Monihan grabbed the kids and got as far away as possible. It's a choice that led her to the Capital Region and the front door of Doctor Ed Williams.

A gifted plastic surgeon, Dr. Williams started a program that fixes the faces of domestic violence victims, free of charge.

"Broken nose, broken cheek bone fractures, those are probably the two most common -- scars on occasion," Dr. Williams explained.

In Monihan's case, her nose was crooked and sunken in from the beatings. But that was just the damage you can see.

"If someone seems themselves in the mirror and sees the nose is crooked it brings back those memories and there's a lot of psychological stuff that goes along with this. And you can remove that and make it better, a lot of it yeah," said Dr. Williams.

In one hour, Dr. Williams began to erase years of pain from Monihan's face.

"When you get this part fixed then the inside can start to heal , when you don't have to look at it every day and be reminded every day of what happened and go over it again and again in your head. It's a great opportunity to start a new step, a new path in your life healing," said Monihan. 

Your local hotline can provide you with information on domestic violence resources in your community. New York State Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-942-6906.

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