Pakistani Salon Hires Fire, Acid Attack Victims

Women 'stand on own two feet' after assaults by crazed men
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Aug 17, 2008 4:28 PM CDT
Shameem Akhter, 18, poses for a photograph at her home in Jhang, Pakistan, Wednesday, July 10, 2008.    (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Pakistani women disfigured by acid and fire attacks have found a second life—as beauticians, the AP reports. The head of a well-known Pakistani salon chain discovered 5 years ago how commonly women are maimed by crazed or spurned lovers. With the aid of an Italian surgical nonprofit, she has helped many heal and put them to work.

Yet victims outnumber the jobs: 33 Pakistani women were singed by acid attacks and another 45 set on fire last year. Some are also too damaged to work. Others spark complaints from customers who don't want treatment from a woman with severe burns or a missing eye. But the work empowers victims to move on: "I'm independent now, I stand on my own two feet," one said. (Read more domestic abuse stories.)