Trigger warning: This story contains an account of domestic abuse which may be triggering for some readers.
A young mother is appealing for help to rebuild her mouth after she lost nine teeth when her partner allegedly “smashed” her head into the floor so many times they “cracked out”.
Casey, 21, says she suffered through three years of almost daily domestic abuse but the pain of the attack was by far the “most excruciating” she endured.
Casey's missing teeth. Source: Change.org
"My ex locked me in the house for a week after, so I was not able to get immediate medical attention," she writes on change.org. "By then I had got blood poisoning via my gums and broken teeth."
Casey was eventually rushed to a Melbourne dental hospital where a team was able to treat her infection organised for her to be fitted with dentures in a series of follow up appointments.
"Unfortunately I [did] what most women do in a domestic violence relationship like that and went back to the ex," she writes, adding that she had no family, friends, place to live, car or money, and was "emotionally unstable".
Her partner, with whom she has a son, allegedly then did not let her make it back to the hospital for appointments.
"Long story short, three years later I am no longer eligible for any dental assistance from the government," she says, after finally leaving her partner just over a year ago.
"I'm desperate. I’m only 21 and don’t have the $6,000 minimum to visit a private dentist, and I’m not a child so Medicare can’t fund this."
So far she's raised more than 5000 of her $7000 target and in her most recent update says she has a consultation coming up with a dentist to talk about treatment options, and cost at a discounted price "due to my petition".
She now hopes to have new teeth by Christmas.
She also wanted to share her story so other vulnerable women would know they are not alone.
"There was daily attacks, this one has physically affected and altered my appearance for life," the mother of two (she has a 10-month-old with her current partner) told Mamamia.
"I know it's so hard to do because your emotionally, physically and financially attached to the relationship but try to get out before it's too late, I know how scared you are and the good days make up for all the bad, but some one out there will treat you like the woman you are."
If this post brings up any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. It doesn’t matter where you live, they will take your call and, if need be, refer you to a service closer to home.
Feature image: Change.org