"Exhibiting You" - Story

Without a Face

By: Izabella Demavlys
Submitted: 03/12/2010

In this project, I aim to follow these women over the course of a few years while they not only rebuild their faces through surgery, but also build the courage, hope, acceptance and self-esteem to continue living a life disfigured.

Through the foundation I met one victim, Saira, who particularly stood out. Saira was attacked with acid by her husband after refusing to move in with him. After multiple operations, her face still wears horrific scars and will mark the way people see her for the rest of her life.

According to the Acid Survivors Foundation Pakistan (ASF), acid attacks are currently rising. There were 30 known cases in 2007, while 48 cases were reported in 2009. Many attacks go unreported due to victims' fears of social stigma and lack of protection from the law.

A domestic violence bill recognizing domestic abuse as a crime passed in Pakistan's national assembly one year ago, but still awaits the approval of the Senate and President Asif Ali Zardari.

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