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Imagine breaking your arm. It feels horrible at the time, but you know you’ll survive and heal in a few months. Now imagine having an ex-boyfriend slash you with a knife multiple times in different places, including your face. How is anyone expected to recover from such a traumatic event?
Yet Ilianexy Morales is on the road to recovery, with the help of a surgeon and the special show “Facing Trauma” on Discovery Fit & Health. The show focuses on two women and one child whose faces and other body parts were scarred or damaged because of domestic violence. Dr. Andrew Jacono is the surgeon who helped alleviate the appearance of scars through surgery.
These women are not the only victims of domestic violence or intimate partner violence. According to a CDC report on violence, “In 48 population-based surveys from around the world, between 10 percent and 69 percent of women reported being physically assaulted by an intimate male partner at some point in their lives.” A Reuters story stated that “about a quarter of U.S. women suffer domestic violence.” Also, about 2 million women are injured per year as a result of domestic violence.
Morales was attacked when she was 23 by an ex-boyfriend about six years ago after she broke up with him because of his jealousy and controlling behavior. He met her at her apartment “to talk” and ended up leaving scars with his knife all over her body, including her face, and only in August was she able to have the surgery to help her move on.
“Before the surgery it was quite difficult for me,” Morales said. “I had many, many scars, not only on my body but also on my hands, on my arms, on my face of course, on my neck. The most difficult thing to deal with was the face scars.”
She said she used to stay home and only went out when she had to after the attack. She had a limited social life and wasn’t able to get surgery with her current health insurance.
“I really thought that I was just going to stay like that forever,” Morales said.
She used to have major issues because of the scars.
“I had no confidence at all, no self-esteem at all,” Morales said. “It’s a major difference for me [now].”