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Saving Face

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The documentary directed by Daniel Junge -- the winner of the Oscar award for this year's Best Documentary Short -- brings to light a common practice in Pakistan, but also in India and Bangladesh, Nepal and Afghanistan, widespread also in present time as a form of punishment when women disobey their father or husband, or simply for turning down a marriage proposal.

A phenomenon already reported about, yet, as it often happens with human tragedies, an issue discussed at the time controversy arises and then forgotten, while these women are left alone with their grief, disfigured and abandoned. The Acid Survivors Foundation has been active for over 10 years offering support to victims who try to live on both physically and psychologically. The first case, a rejected suitor, was reported in 1967. The appeal of the United Nations Human Rights Council defines such tortures as inhuman and condemnable.

Numerous women have given their account of the violence suffered. Viviana Mazza, in an article appearing yesterday in the Corriere della Sera, talks about Fakhra, a woman who was disfigured with acid and then committed suicide. Many women go through the same experiences and many of them do not report to the police out of fear. Such abuse must be always reported, people need to be informed about the violence and talk about it in order to stop the atrocities in the part of these men, who in many cases, are not even prosecuted. A war kept under silence that is unacceptable today, since we can all go online and be easily informed.

Over 80 million visits for Kony 2012, who left Uganda in 2006, while people ignore the issue of acid violence that is so real and occurs on a daily basis -- and is not just another appealing story out on YouTube.

With F4D we are trying to make an agreement with the doctors working for acid burn victims through Beauty 4 Empowerment. To not only give support, but to restore the dignity of the victims also by providing jobs and reintegrating women into society, besides offering whenever possible surgical treatment through this association of doctors.

But for now, watch the trailer of Saving Face -- we must not just sit by!