An Unimaginable Attack on Women That Occurs Far Too Often

Filed under News Your World on Jul 03 12 by

Pakistani-acid-attack-victim-Fakhra-Younus-commits-suicide

CREDIT: Reuters

Humiliated. Degraded. Scarred for life.

This just scrapes the surface of what the victim of an acid attack feels.

More than 150 Pakistani women are victim to horrific acid attacks every year. The attack is one of the most atrocious forms of domestic violence where women are literally doused with liquid acid, “burning their flesh as if it were a candlestick.” The result? Permanently scarred and disfigured women often with corroded organs. Some even more serious cases involve a loss of eyes and limbs in addition to the development of severe infections such as septicemia and gangrene.

Words cannot fully capture the pain, suffering and psychological trauma these women endure. It goes far beyond the longing to have their perfect complexions restored and much more to do with simply enjoying a life worth living. A life with the confidence to be in public and the ability to complete mundane tasks. Many of these women are unable to seek proper medical care whereas those that are require up to a whopping 20 surgeries to properly treat the wounds. Some simply give up and tragically end their own lives just as the one reported here.

You’re probably wondering why anyone would wish this kind of life upon another. And while there really is no easy way of understanding the rationale, one must first take a moment to get a better sense of the type of world these women live in day in and day out.

To say that the women’s rights movement hasn’t exactly made its way to Pakistan is an understatement. Forget dreams of opening your own business or something even simpler as owning your own property. These poor women are forced into arranged marriages where they are brutally beaten on a regular basis. So it is no surprise that disgruntled and jealous husbands—or simply just ones that want “to teach their wives a lesson”—are the ones most likely to execute the aforementioned acid attacks. The worst part of it all? Due to societal pressures and financial issues, these unfortunate victims have nowhere to go but right back to these monsters.

Thankfully, a law went into effect just last December mandating convicted attackers be fined up to $11,000 (a large sum for most Pakistanis) in addition to imprisonment lasting anywhere between 14 years and life. However, with only roughly 10% of these cases being sent to court, much more still needs to be done. Despite the advances made to punish such abominable wrongdoings, the number of acid-related occurrences continues to rise. In fact, 2011 saw over 8,500 acid attacks, forced marriages and other forms of violence against women in Pakistan.

Until the world is rid of such brutalities, there is something you can do to help. Donate today to the Acid Survivors Foundation Pakistan. This organization offers medical treatment, social rehabilitation, legal support and advocacy to the victims of acid attacks.

Click here to do your part to help: http://acidsurvivorspakistan.org/you-can-help

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Soraya Eltomey
Soraya is a news contributor for The You Are Project, profiling fascinating young women such as the world-renowned rower Julia Immonen. Having previously served as Management Consultant at Consumer Reports and Co-Chairperson of Advertising Women of New York's Young Executives Committee, Soraya now spearheads PR initiatives for an award-winning digital marketing agency located in Tribeca.