In a society like that of Pakistan, many victims fall a prey to this brutal crime of acid attacks. These acts are labeled as “punishments” for women according to men. These men consider these women to be going against what they feel is right. Even for the smallest of mistakes or mostly for no fault of their own women are splashed with acid. They are left deformed forever. Their face, hands, back and chest will never be the same.
Men throw acid on women because men are angry with them for ending relationships and for refusing sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, proposals of marriage and demands for dowry. Acid attacks usually result in immediate death, and those who survive suffer severe burns, major disfigurement, scarring and/or blindness. Acid is so commonly sold in the market; men face no difficulty in buying it. The lack of education proves to be one of the many reasons behind these crimes. There is no such existing government institution at the moment, to help prevent and control such attacks. An Acid and Burn Crime Bill was proposed in 2014. However, this bill is not enough on its own and needs to be combined with laws that strictly control and check on the sale of acid.
The Protection of Women against Violence Bill passed in Punjab criminalizes all forms of violence against women, including domestic, sexual, psychological, emotional, economic and verbal. However the change in law will only make a difference if there is effective enforcement and the legislation.
Every year hundreds of women are intentionally burnt by acid or kerosene oil; unfortunately many of them do not survive due to lack of on time assistance and treatment. Depilex Smileagain Foundation (DSF) and Masarrat Misbah act as a glimmer of hope for women in Pakistan.
Her mission is to help female victims of acid and kerosene oil burns by providing them appropriate medical attention and reconstructive surgery, psychological/ psychiatric support and vocational training.
Moreover she is struggling hard to create social awareness and sensitivity by working towards the completeeradication of this heinous crime. Masarrat Misbah has proven to be a beacon of hope for all acid and burn victims as she gives them a second chance in life.