Survivor stories

Saeeda, Pakistan


Saeeda is a patient at the Nursing Care and Rehabilitation Unit (NCRU) at ASF-P, a beautiful young girl who was only fourteen when she became the victim of an acid attack. Waheed owned the school where Saeeda’s mother worked. He asked for Saeeda’s mother’s consent to marry her daughter. Both Saeeda and her mother rejected the proposal; however, upon her brother’s insistence, she eventually agreed.

Shortly after nikkah (the matrimonial contract between bride and bride groom in Islamic marriage), Waheed accused Saeeda of adultery and having a loose character, while abusing her physically in the home. Saeeda and Waheed lived with Waheed’s brother and sister-in-law and it was not long before Saeeda realised that her husband and sister-in-law were having an extra marital affair. When the pregnant Saeeda confronted her husband, she was pushed down the stairs, resulting in a miscarriage. Meanwhile, Waheed wanted Saeeda to seek dissolution of the marriage in order to avoid paying compensation money, which in this case was one hundred thousand rupees. When Saeeda refused, she was beaten again, poisoned, and thrown in front of a car.

Saeeda was forced to take sleeping pills and was manipulated to the point that she believed the pills she was consuming were in fact pain killers that would help to relieve the pain from previous injuries. One day she consumed such a high intake that she fell unconscious. In the emergency ward, Waheed called Saeeda’s brother and misinformed him that Saeeda had consumed the pills intentionally, as an attempt to commit suicide. Although she recovered, the abuse at home continued.

Saeeda was eventually sent back to her family home with a promise that she would receive maintenance from Waheed, but he did not keep his word. Saeeda’s mother repeatedly asked Waheed to either divorce Saeeda or take her back and live like a respectable couple. Unfortunately, Waheed had other plans.


On 3 February 2008, Waheed broke into Saeeda’s house and threw acid on her face causing serious and extensive burns.

Nearly 3 years have passed since this incident. According to Saeeda, even though her reflection in the mirror reminds her of the attack, she claims that she has only gained and not lost anything. She has learned various practical skills such as tailoring, basket weaving, making beaded jewelry, and basic computer & English language skills, through the support of ASTI’s partner in Pakistan, ASF-P.

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