Get set to smile! That was the message of the Caddo Parish District Attorney’s office to victims of domestic violence at the third annual Unmasking of Domestic Violence Breakfast and Silent Auction Tuesday, October 15, 2019.
The Caddo DA’s Special Victims Unit announced the start of its Abounding Smiles initiative, launched in conjunction with the Northwest Louisiana Family Justice Center.
Many of the victims of domestic violence suffer facial and dental injuries, including tooth loss, that can be painful and expensive to correct. Abounding Smiles is a coalition of caring dentists who will offer pro bono treatment to DV victims who cannot afford such services.
“These injuries have a significant impact on the lives of our victims,” said Britney A. Green, Chief of Domestic Violence for the Special Victims Unit, who spoke at the breakfast hosted by Project Celebration, Inc., and the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, held at DiamondJacks Casino and Hotel in Bossier City. “Damaged teeth can affect their confidence, self-esteem, and even their ability to be gainfully employed. We all know the importance of a winning smile.”
Abounding Smiles already has begun to help its first domestic violence victim, a 33-year-old woman who lost all of her front teeth due to an attack.
Partnering with the project are the following local dentists:
• Dr. Roderick E. Loud, Loud Family Dental, 2701 Frederick St.
• Dr. Michael Woolbert and Dr. William “Bill” Hall, Woolbert & Hall Dental, 7600 Fern Ave., Ste. 1100.
• Dr. Larry Robinson, 8856 Youree Drive, Ste, C.
• Dr. Douglas Talley, 3600 North Market St.
• Southern Roots Dentistry, 8691 Line Ave., Ste. 100
• Shreveport Bossier Family Dental, 910 W. Bert Kouns Industrial Loop.
• David Raines Community Health Center.
There is an additional dentist who will participate but wishes to remain anonymous.
The breakfast, attended by Caddo Parish District Attorney James E. Stewart Sr., Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator and Shreveport Chief of Police Ben Raymond, drew hundreds of law enforcement professionals, attorneys, judges, elected officials and victims and family members of victims of domestic violence.
Speakers at the event were DeSoto Parish Sheriff Jayson Richardson and his mother, DeSoto Sheriff’s Sgt. Carol Richardson, who offered gripping testimony regarding the effect of domestic violence on their family.
The breakfast also honored two local legal professionals. Lead Shreveport City Prosecutor Monique Davis and Caddo Parish District Judge Brady O’Callaghan were honored with the 2019 Pioneer for Social Change awards.
Dental professionals who wish to be part of coalition should call Jeri Bowen, of the Family Justice Center, at (318) 584-7171 to join the growing list of dental professionals who are committed to restoring the smiles of domestic abuse survivors.