Pakistan has built a reputation for being one of the deadliest countries for acid attacks. 1,485 reported cases of acid attacks were reported in Pakistan between 2007 and 2018.
Acid attacks are a form of gender-based violence, the victims of which are mostly female. The perpetrators are usually their husbands and other in-laws. Some of the reasons why women have been subjected to acid attacks include rejecting marriage proposals, giving birth to daughters instead of sons, not bringing enough dowry to their in-laws’ houses, or the simple misfortune of marrying an abusive, violent, patriarchal man.
When the world experienced innumerable losses during the COVID-19 pandemic, these survivors had to face increased isolation and financial hardships. This project shows their struggles and the social, legislative, and medical work being done to advance their rights in a post-pandemic world.
In Pakistan, the beauty salon industry suffered huge financial losses due to repeated lockdowns. These salons have long provided employment to many survivors and offered them social security and acceptance. In such circumstances, some non-governmental organizations have played a monumental role in ensuring the livelihood of acid attack survivors. Many have found other occupations to sustain their futures.
Acid Attacks: A Story of Survival portrays how women who were robbed of their lives are fighting every day to get them back. It is also an account of empowerment.