An unforgivable crime, Acid Attacks have been increasing at an exceptionally dangerous level in Pakistan.
On January 29th, 2019 – a 35-year-old Ramzana, the owner of a small ‘cafe’ or ‘
The most dehumanizing act in the history of crimes, acid attacks do not only result in ugly burns and disfiguration but also leave victims traumatized for their whole lives. The leading cause of such attacks is toxic masculinity which is why way more women than men have been the target of this inhumane act.
As represented by the results of an HRCP report, the reported cases of acid attacks in Pakistan lie between the ranges of 150-4000 yearly, with women being the victim in the majority. Sadly, the cruelty does not stop here. Apart from women, children too end up being victims of this hideous crime due to the mere reason of not accepting sexual advances and child marriages.
The fact that the statistics provided through research only represent victims who have actually reported the crime cannot be ignored. Hundreds of such attacks are unreported and remain unnoticed by our society. One specific reason for this is our male-dominant culture which makes it almost impossible for some female victims to file cases. Some, however, are also pressurized to stay quiet by their very own family members out of the fear of their community norms.
WHAT ACIDS ARE USED IN ATTACKS?
Increasingly, questions have been asked by women all around the world concerning why it is much easier and cheaper to have access to sulfuric acid. “Finding the right shade of lipstick is harder than finding concentrated acid” – Reshma Khureshi
REASONS BEHIND ACID ATTACKS
In the majority of cases, acid attacks are usually used as a practice of acquiring revenge concerning racism, refusing a marriage proposal, sexual advances or unimaginable demands regarding dowry. Since most of the attacks are directed at the face, they leave behind permanent marks while completely destroying a person’s physical appearance and psychological health in addition to blindness.
According to reports, a high concentration of acid attack occurs in the southern part of Punjab closely followed by other territories including Sindh, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, and Balochistan.
High rates of acid attacks are also reported amongst districts of Multan, Rahim Yar Khan, and Bahawalpur.
In the case of Resham Khan, the Pakistani model, the attack was carried out in London when the model and her cousin were inside the car at traffic lights in Beckton on her 21st Birthday. According to her, the burning pain was excruciating and she witnessed her clothes burn away right in front of her eyes.
Another victim, Fakhra Younus, suffered an acid attack at the hands of her ex-husband and committed suicide during her treatment process.
Masarrat Misbah, President of Depilex Smileagain Foundation is the first woman in Pakistan to help acid burn victims by providing reconstructive surgeries, professional training and full-length social support. For the past 5 years, Misbah has helped over 400 women by offering medical aid, professional beautician training and other facilities to help victims become financially independent and confident about life.
“The success rate is about 90% but I feel its very unfortunate that most cases are not accidents but deliberate attempts by family men and women to destroy the victim’s life.” – Says, Misbah
Due to the rising rate of acid attacks, ‘The Acid and Burn Crime Bill’ has been passed by the national assembly which supports the victims through free medical treatment and rehabilitation. According to the ex-Federal Minister, Marvi Memon, “The purpose of the bill is to support the victims and bring to justice the culprits at the earliest.”
Victims must immediately be taken to the specialised burn units and report it in the police and other concerning authorities to have it counted. For better reconstructive surgeries, you can always contact Masarrat Misbah’s Foundation.
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