Abuse Survivors Set to Smile Again Thanks to Doctor Beauty Queen
Those who have suffered at the hands of domestic, family and sexual violence will soon have a reason to smile again, thanks to Dr Sonia Sonia.
A personal survivor of family violence herself, this dentist and reigning beauty queen is using her past experiences as the inspiration to start her own charity, ReStored, which will offer free dental treatments to those who have endured abuse, such as repairing broken teeth and jaws.
"Beyond the psychological and financial strain, the medical implications of physical abuse is one aspect often overlooked," said Dr Sonia.
Coming to Australia more than a decade ago with nothing but the desire to leave her abusive situation behind and find a new way of life, Dr Sonia Sonia is now a dentist with three successful dental surgeries, an entrepreneur, a well-known personality and speaker in women dental forums around Australia and New Zealand, a pilot in training for her recreational license, and a reigning beauty queen with two international titles under her belt. And most importantly, a wife and mother to two young children!
Dr Sonia Sonia has never let her past experiences keep her down.
”I pushed through and fought back with education as my weapon, and the ongoing dream to eventually escape keeping me going,” said Dr Sonia.
“I had little money and no English when I first arrived in Australia in 2007, but after what I had endured – there was no giving up and no going back.”
Working with various charity organisations and having personally supported many women over the years - from offering shelter in her own home, to going to court with them - Dr Sonia Sonia has helped survivors of abuse to regain confidence and secure jobs.
She found a gap in the health industry (especially those services not covered by Medicare) and, as she had seen victims regularly come into her clinics with broken jaws and teeth, decided that this was her chance to make a real difference to these survivor’s lives.
“People have said to me ‘Why don’t you just donate the money?’, but I think that, though the easiest thing to do is set up a direct debit to a charity, nothing is more valuable in this world than your time and support. That’s what ReStored is all about. We will give services to those who need them in the form of our valuable time and skills.
“Though I am still working on establishing ReStored, I already have 12 dentists onboard willing to donate services worth close to $100,000 to these survivors.”
By her own admission, she is here to change the way dentistry is perceived by people, and believes that by being authentic, honest, and knowledgeable, the rest will surely follow.
“If victims can start to see themselves as survivors and go on to live happy and healthy lives free of violence and abuse then that is all the legacy that I could ever ask for. I want the whole world to stop using the word ‘victim’ and sympathising with them. They are ‘survivors’ and braver than we think or could ever imagine!”