The woman looking at herself in the makeshift mirror with the photograph of a model on the reverse side is the survivor of an acid attack. It wasn’t a stranger who disfigured her. It was her husband. He wasn’t satisfied with the size of the dowry her parents had paid, and after two years of marriage he wanted more. When her parents refused to increase the payment, he beat up Nasrin, then 23 years old, and threw acid on her face, neck, and hands. The attack took place in Bangladesh, which has one of the highest rates of acid attacks on women. The causes vary, says Khaled Hasan, the Bangladesh photographer who took this photo. Sometimes it’s a spurned lover, sometimes jealousy, other times a dispute over a dowry, and on occasion something as simple as an argument over a bucket of water. This photograph was taken at the Acid Survivors Foundation’s hospital, a 20-bed facility in Dhaka that specializes in treating acid burns and in providing psychological, legal, and financial support for the women. Hasan took the photographs in collaboration with Oxfam and its program to end violence against women in Southeast Asia. Thanks to the work of Oxfam, the Acid Survivors Foundation, and other organizations, the number of acid attacks in Bangladesh has declined steadily over the last decade, from an estimated 417 in 2003 to 69 in 2013.

Tracker Pixel for Entry