Acid attacks on the rise: Sharmeen Obaid's documentary-making skills needed in the West

02:05 PM | 2 Mar, 2016
Acid attacks on the rise: Sharmeen Obaid's documentary-making skills needed in the West
While the South Asia remains on top of the list for acid attacks against women and a documentary by Pakistani-Canadian filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, Saving Face, which featured the acid throwing cases from Pakistan also won an Oscar award in 2012; Britain has also alarmingly witnessed over 100 such cases in 2015.

"The number of acid throwing attacks has doubled in last one decade and dozens of victim women continue to live a life where they are unable to recongnise their own faces in mirror," the Mirror said in a report.

What is the possible reason behind this rising number? The forensic consultant psychologist Ian Stephen, who also inspired production of crime series Cracker, argues that acid attacks are mainly related to cultural honour crimes and gang violence, and sometimes acts of jealousy committed by ex-partners or rejected lovers.

Ian Stephen continues that the acts of acid throwing a clear indication that attackers do not want the victim to die but they want to witness their suffering instead. Women are soft target of acid throwing and attackers have been hiring hit-men to execute such activities, the psychologist added.

"The destruction of victim's face is a typical target which is far more dangerous and condemnable than any other physical attacks, but still the substances used in such attacks are readily available everywhere," Ian said while arguing that any punishment awarded by the court cannot the compensate the suffering which the victims undergo their whole remaining life.

Azra (the 24-year-old girl given a hypothetical name), who is one of the acid attack victims, narrated the tragedy she underwent as saying that her own brother threw acid at her face when she attempted to report to police about being sexually abused by him as a child.

Her brother came to her house with a bottle and three sulfuric acid at her face, neck and chest; which resulted in severe burns at her vital body parts.  She was taken to hospital for treatment but never approached law enforcement authorities to registera legal complaint against her brother.

An now even two years after the attack, Azra continues to live a life full of sufferings. She is unable to reveal her scares to anyone except her sister and two close friends.

Talking about her brother, Azra said that revealing his crime will be nothing fruitful and additionally his family, wife and kids will be destroyed however I still feel sorry that he did this to me.