abuse

dentist

‘Happier to be free:’ Abuse survivor has broken teeth fixed for free

A Lantana woman had always been strong and independent.

When she finally walked away from her five-year abusive relationship, she noticed she had briefly lost many of her hardworking assets.

The 32-year-old, who wants to be identified as Jane, is rebuilding her life and is using her experience to help others realize they can live a life they’re proud of and deserve.

“I knew his behavior was wrong. I knew the situation was wrong. I was trying to get out of it, but they trap you,” she said. 

ALSO READ: The opioid trap: The search for recovery

The most recent done at the hands of the man Jane thought she knew and loved left her bloodied and bruised, with horrible marks on her face.



a close up of a persons face


© Provided by WPEC West Palm Beach


“He punched me in the face and knocked me cold to the ground,” she said. “Thankfully, I’ve never seen his face again.”

Jane broke her silence about her abusive relationship while in the hospital that night. Jane says victims don’t deserve to have their world unraveling on the inside, they need to tell someone.

“I felt like I put myself in this position and that I needed to get myself out of it, so I was honestly working to try to get myself out of it,” she said. “You need to ask for help, you need to tell people your situation, you need to accept the help.”

In this season of giving, dentists at Spodak Dental Group in Delray Beach want to turn her tragedy to triumph. For them, that’s helping to boost her self-esteem and sense of self-worth with a restored smile at no cost.



a man and a woman standing in a room


© Provided by WPEC West Palm Beach


“My sincere hope is that her confidence and her strength, sends a message to someone at home who is in an abusive relationship to not take it anymore,” said Dr. Craig Spodak of Spodak Dental Group. “To take care of their family and leave a relationship like that.”

“I have a great view on life. I am so happy right now, I never felt happier to be free. I won’t let this define me in anyway shape or form,” Jane said. “I had no idea of the resources that were out there.”

There are several resources available in Palm Beach County, including Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse, or AVDA, with a team working around the clock to get survivors shelter and transitional housing. Right now, they’re getting between 180 to 200 calls a month, a significant climb.

“We’re finding unfortunately that the violence level, the lethality level of these situations, is very high, guns are involved, multiple children,” said Jennifer Rey, Program Services Director at Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse.

While it’s high, she says rooms are available and safety measures are in place for those who want to reach out and escape.

“We have PPE for everybody. We have a cleaning regime that’s making the place wiped down every 8 hours, so we’re

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dentist

‘Happier to be free:’ Abuse survivor cries for joy after dentist fix broken teeth for free

A Lantana woman had always been strong and independent.

When she finally walked away from her five-year abusive relationship, she noticed she had briefly lost many of her hardworking assets.

The 32-year-old, who wants to be identified as Jane, is rebuilding her life and is using her experience to help others realize they can live a life they’re proud of and deserve.

“I knew his behavior was wrong. I knew the situation was wrong. I was trying to get out of it, but they trap you,” she said. 

ALSO READ: The opioid trap: The search for recovery

The most recent done at the hands of the man Jane thought she knew and loved left her bloodied and bruised, with horrible marks on her face.

“He punched me in the face and knocked me cold to the ground,” she said. “Thankfully, I’ve never seen his face again.”

Jane broke her silence about her abusive relationship while in the hospital that night. Jane says victims don’t deserve to have their world unraveling on the inside, they need to tell someone.

“I felt like I put myself in this position and that I needed to get myself out of it, so I was honestly working to try to get myself out of it,” she said. “You need to ask for help, you need to tell people your situation, you need to accept the help.”

In this season of giving, dentists at Spodak Dental Group in Delray Beach want to turn her tragedy to triumph. For them, that’s helping to boost her self-esteem and sense of self-worth with a restored smile at no cost.



a man and a woman standing in a room


© Provided by WPEC West Palm Beach


“My sincere hope is that her confidence and her strength, sends a message to someone at home who is in an abusive relationship to not take it anymore,” said Dr. Craig Spodak of Spodak Dental Group. “To take care of their family and leave a relationship like that.”

“I have a great view on life. I am so happy right now, I never felt happier to be free. I won’t let this define me in anyway shape or form,” Jane said. “I had no idea of the resources that were out there.”

There are several resources available in Palm Beach County, including Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse, or AVDA, with a team working around the clock to get survivors shelter and transitional housing. Right now, they’re getting between 180 to 200 calls a month, a significant climb.

“We’re finding unfortunately that the violence level, the lethality level of these situations, is very high, guns are involved, multiple children,” said Jennifer Rey, Program Services Director at Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse.

While it’s high, she says rooms are available and safety measures are in place for those who want to reach out and escape.

“We have PPE for everybody. We have a cleaning regime that’s making the place wiped down every 8 hours, so we’re going a lot to make it safe

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health

Predictions of more suicides, overdoses and domestic abuse during COVID are coming true

Nine months later, those grim predictions look like they’re coming true.

“There is a mental health wave to this pandemic,” Dr. Ken Duckworth, chief medical officer of the National Alliance for Mental Illness, told ABC News. “We as a species don’t do well with uncertainty.”

The pandemic, for many Americans, has exacerbated already-stressful scenarios — deaths of loved ones, illnesses, loss of income — according to psychiatrists Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe.

Additionally, stay-at-home orders and school closures — important actions to prevent virus spread — created downstream consequences such as social isolation, eroding support networks and additional financial strain.

All of these factors are contributing to more suicides, overdoses and violence, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And specialists warn that this mental health pandemic within the virus pandemic also will disproportionately affect Blacks, Hispanics, the elderly, people of lower socioeconomic status of all races, and health care workers.

PHOTO: A teenager spends another day on the family couch, staying indoors in extended isolation because of the COVID-19 pandemic in the borough of Brooklyn, New York, April 25, 2020.

A teenager spends another day on the family couch, staying indoors in extended isolation because of the COVID-19 pandemic in the borough of Brooklyn, New York, April 25, 2020.

Many of these accelerating public health crises already were worsening before COVID-19.

In 2018, the U.S had the highest age-adjusted suicide rates since 1941. By June, a CDC survey of 5,470 US adults found that one-third reported anxiety or depression symptoms. About 10% said they had considered suicide during the last month, and the rate of suicidal thoughts was highest among unpaid caregivers, essential workers, Hispanic or Black respondents and young adults.

People age 18 to 25 may be the most affected group, Duckworth explained.

“We need to take a look at the age impact,” Duckworth added. “In the age where identity is developed, young adults are missing college.”

The opioid epidemic, previously considered the greatest public health threat in the U.S., also has worsened since the virus outbreak. After overdose deaths briefly plateaued in 2017 — stricter regulations of prescription drugs were enacted — deaths began creeping upward again because of illegal synthetic substitutes like fentanyl.

“We were making some improvement in terms of treatment options for opioid addiction prior to the pandemic,” Dr. Harshal Kirane, medical director of Wellbridge Addiction Treatment and Research, told ABC news. “However, there were still major treatment gaps that have worsened now that we have a superimposed pandemic.”

More than 40 states have reported increases in opioid-related deaths since then pandemic struck, according to the American Medical Association.

Overdoses — both fatal and non-fatal — have increased 20% compared with the same time period in

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health

19 women allege medical abuse in Georgia immigration detention

A drawing depicts a woman crying on a medical consent form.
A drawing depicts a woman crying on a medical consent form. A number of women allege they were administered birth control and underwent procedures, including the removal of their reproductive organs, without their consent while being held at the Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia. (GLAHR / Innovation Law Lab / GA Dete)

At least 19 women at a Georgia immigration facility are now alleging that a doctor performed, or pressured them to undergo, “overly aggressive” or “medically unnecessary” surgery without their consent, including procedures that impact their ability to have children, according to a new report and other records obtained by the Times.

The new report was written by a team of nine board-certified OBGYNs and two nursing experts, each affiliated with academic medical centers — including those at Northwestern University, Baylor College and Creighton University — who reviewed more than 3,200 pages of records obtained for the 19 women. It comes just a month after a whistleblowing nurse at the Irwin County Detention Center set into motion a series of congressional inquiries and federal investigations into immigrant women’s care at the facility, which is overseen by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The 19 women were all patients of Dr. Mahendra Amin, the primary gynecologist for the Irwin County Detention Center, the report says. The records, including pathology and radiology reports, prescriptions, surgical impressions and consent forms, sworn declarations and telephone interviews, detail and support the women’s allegations of medical abuse by the doctor, according to the report.

The medical experts found an “alarming pattern” in which Amin allegedly subjected the women to unwarranted gynecological surgeries, in most cases performed without consent, according to the 5-page report, which was submitted Thursday to members of Congress.

“Both Dr. Amin and the referring detention facility took advantage of the vulnerability of women in detention to pressure them to agree to overly aggressive, inappropriate, and unconsented medical care,” the report states.

The medical team conducted its review in tandem with a coalition of advocates and lawyers representing the women that has been investigating the allegations, from Project South, the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights, Georgia Detention Watch, the South Georgia Immigrant Support Network, the Southern Poverty Law Center Immigrant Freedom Initiative, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and Innovation Law Lab.

Many alleged victims, the vast majority of whom are Black and Latino, from the Caribbean, Africa and Latin America, are coming forward for the first time to report their allegations of mistreatment since a nurse at the facility filed the 27-page whistleblower complaint last month, along with advocacy group Project South. The complaint to the Homeland Security Inspector General in turn prompted national outcry, congressional inquiries, and federal investigations.

Women under Amin’s care were administered birth control and underwent procedures without their consent, including to remove their reproductive organs, such as the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes, according to the report and interviews by the Times with women whose cases were reviewed by the medical team.

One woman,

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