Indian husband hurls acid in the face of his wife after she gets a job

Indian husband hurls acid in the face of his wife after she gets a job

While it's not something we hear about often, acid attacks are a worryingly frequent occurrence around the world. The victims of the attacks are most often female, and the perpetrators are usually motivated by revenge or rejection (for example, if a marriage proposal is refused).

In South Asia, assaults with a chemical substance have actually increased in some years since the beginning of the 21st century, with 72 per cent of reported attacks involving at least one female victim. In fact, in 2014 alone, 349 people reported injuries due to acid attacks - and it is suspected that the number is much greater due to many cases going unreported.

In the latest of these attacks, Zakira Ali Sheikh from India has been left blinded in one eye after her husband threw a corrosive substance in her face.

The incident happened at the beginning of November, after the mother-of-two took a part-time job making soap. It had become a necessity for her to find work, as her husband was refusing to go to his job as a rickshaw driver, therefore leaving the family without an income.

However, when her husband, Roobab, found out about this, he accused her of insulting his honour.

In a furious rage, he locked the doors to the house and attacked her.

"I was screaming in agony, but it was 10 minutes before even my brother could get inside to help me. The pain was excruciating," Zakira said.

The attack has severely disfigured the woman, leaving her unrecognizable. She also has difficulty breathing at the moment, and is being kept in a hospital in Mumbai with a tube in her throat.

According to a report by the Yale Global Health Review, "The purpose of the acid attacks, where acid is thrown onto the face and body, is not to kill (though often it does), but to permanently maim."

The report goes on to explain that "acid is easily obtained in commercial form at public markets, sold alongside everyday commodities," making it an easily-acquired tool for an attack.

Moreover, because of the misogynist and inhumane attitudes towards women in South Asian countries, a lot of the attackers don't actually receive any punishment for their horrendous actions. As YGHR explains:

"The attacks serve as a permanent marker of revenge, intended to bring a woman down from her functional position in society to that of a disfigured social outcast. Even further, although there have been laws implemented against the attacks, often the overwhelming sociopolitical opinion of locals or officials is that the attack was justifiable or even deserved, and attackers go largely unpunished."

For Zakira, there is hope for at least partial recovery, but her surgery costs $38,500 in total. A fundraising organization called Make Love Not Scars - which specializes in aiding acid attack victims towards recovery - have set up a campaign to help Zakira, and already have more than $14,500 towards their goal.

Ria Sharma, a representative of the organization, said that "Zakira is in a critical condition and we need to raise the funds at the earliest. We hope people who sympathize with her will help."