The New Dealer

  • March 29April 2019 Edition

Acid Attacks: A Price For Being A Woman

Shifa Ahmed, Reporter

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How incredulous would it be that a rape victim, who had not even overcome her trauma, would start shedding her skin during the day- suddenly as her rapist threw acid at her? In Pakistan acid attacks are a usual means of violence waged against women. In addition, there are no such regulations on the sale of acids, as they can be purchased at the prices equivalent that of water bottles in United States.

The perpetrators of these crimes easily escape the justice system due to many loopholes in the law. The sway of influential people over the police, and the reluctance of the victim, because of social pressures, leaves many unpunished. Approximately 150 cases are reported, which is far less than the actual amount of cases. Women whose literacy rate is around 45% in the country, and unable to get jobs, often back down from reporting the cases, as many of them depend financially on their “criminals” which sometimes turn out to be their own family members. Often the loss of children are used to manipulate the victims. Thus, many victims live a life of disfigurement, utter psychological trauma, and many stay blind for life. Given government hospitals’ dilapidated states, and the lofty medical expenses of private hospitals, treatments and surgeries aren’t readily available for acid attack victims.

But again, in every society there is always a flicker of hope for the wronged ones, as the Depilex Smile Again foundation provides opportunities to victims to lead a normal life in which they are often treated as lepers, by providing them safe environments to work at the foundation’s beauty parlors. Documentaries like Saving Face, by Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, which is an Oscar winner has helped to provide a broad spectrum for the world and society to look at the acid attack victims, and to help them through various means.

According to the local Pakistani newspaper, The Express Tribune, there has been a sharp decline in acid attacks, as much as 50% since 2014. Unsprisingly, 99 percent of the culprits are men involved in the acid attacks. This dilemma can not be surmounted unless there is cooperation between the provincial and federal government. There needs to be an end to trivialization of societal problems as horrendous as these attacks, through media campaigns and bringing an increase in literacy rate to the country.   

Sources;

https://www.google.com/amp/s/tribune.com.pk/story/1333711/asf-report-acid-throwing-cases-post-sharp-decline/%3famp=1

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2903226/The-beauty-salon-acid-attack-survivors-rebuild-lives-instead-treated-like-modern-day-lepers.html

https://www.dawn.com/news/1153480

https://www.google.com/amp/nation.com.pk/05-Aug-2016/female-literacy-rate%3fversion=amp

 

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Acid Attacks: A Price For Being A Woman