A group of Pakistani women, victims of horrible acid attacks, posed recently for a hard hitting and difficult-to-view photo series by renowned photographer Emilio Morenatti. The images, which are graphic, reveal the suffering that acid attack victims endure, and the indelible scars they carry for life.
Several of the women Morenatti profiled were injured in attacks after turning down marriage proposals. Arranged marriages are common in many parts of the world, and refusing the arrangement often carries horrific consequences for the women involved. While some of the victims refused an arranged marriage, others were attacked simply because they were women. Najaf, one of the girls pictured, was attacked in her sleep by her father, who poured acid over her face because he didn't want any more women in the family, RYOT reports. Blind and disowned by her family, Najaf lives with relatives and has endured 15 reconstructive surgeries since the attack.
According to the Acid Survivors Trust International, around 1,500 attacks are reported each year, with 250 to 300 reported annually in Pakistan. Acid attacks are not only endemic to Pakistan, however, as The Inquisitr has previously reported. Late last year, two British teens were assaulted with acid in Zanzibar, where they were working as volunteer teachers.
While a bill supporting stricter laws punishing attacks and governing the sale of acid was submitted to Pakistan's National Assembly in 2010, perpetrators have often been able to avoid punishment for their actions. Morenatti's photo series is aimed at raising awareness of domestic violence and giving a voice to victims, according to Firsttoknow. Morenatti hopes that the striking images will not only bring attention to the monstrous crimes, but also inspire global change in relation to acid attacks.
[Images: Emilio Morenatti via HelloBeautiful and Ryot]