Brutal Disfigurement of Survivors, the Acid Survivors Foundation Pakistan

Pakistan is one of the poorest countries in the world and the problem of acid violence has only recently been identified. Attacks commonly occur within family and community groups and are different from other forms of violence against women. Unlike other forms of injury which either heal (or are internalised), the wounds resulting from acid attacks are always horribly visible. No amount of skilful surgery can fully restore a face burned with acid.

Before the establishment of the Acid Survivors Foundation Pakistan (ASF-P) in 2006, there were no specialist services for people who were attacked by acid in Pakistan. Far too often government-run hospitals (the only resource for the majority of people) are completely un-equipped for treating burns of this degree. The foundation in Islamabad is the first of its kind in Pakistan to give free specialist treatment to acid survivors, taking a holistic approach in its support by providing surgery, skin grafting, post-care nursing treatment, as well as psychological and counselling rehabilitation.

The ASF-P field officers locate the survivors, make them aware of the organisation and then accompany them to Islamabad, whilst also assuring their safely return back to their homes. The ASF accommodate the survivors for up to three months or more if necessary, whilst the dedicated nursing staff provides the necessary care and assistance whist educating the survivors on the best method of care for their scars and wounds.
For a further insight into the workings of the Acid Survivors Foundation and the important work they are involved in, please view the following short video:

Natasha Simonsen, a volunteer at the Acid Survivors Foundation in Pakistan (ASF-P) speaks further about her experience supporting survivors in Pakistan in the following video. She became aware of the growing incidences of acid violence in Pakistan whilst working for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) based in Islamabad. From coming to know of this problem through a friend, she made a visit to the ASF centre and since this beginning her dedicated work to the foundation has helped increase the awareness of this vicious crime to many people in Australia, where she currently resides. We take this opportunity to thank Natasha for all her work.

Posted on September 29th 2009 by Asti Editor in Media coverage

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