Every year in Pakistan, many people – the majority of them women – are known to be victimized by brutal acid attacks, while numerous other cases go unreported. With little or no access to reconstructive surgery, survivors are physically and emotionally scarred. Many reported assailants, often a husband or someone else close to the victim, receive minimal if any punishment from the state.
Zakia is a 39-year old woman who had acid thrown on her by her husband after filing for divorce. She strives to find justice, alleviate pain and restore functioning and features to her face.
Rukhsana is a 23-year old woman who was attacked by her husband and in-laws and forced to reconcile with them.
Plastic surgeon Dr. Mohammad Jawad left the prominence of his London practice to return to his home country and help the victims of such attacks.
SAVING FACE chronicles the lives of Zakia and Rukhsana as they attempt to bring their assailants to justice and move on with their lives. The women are supported by NGOs, sympathetic policymakers, and skilled doctors including surgeon Dr. Mohammad Jawad, attorney Ms. Sarkar Abbass who fights Zakia’s case, and female politician Marvi Memon who advocates for new legislation.
SAVING FACE follows their personal stories and that of the nation of Pakistan as it attempts to tackle this horrific social problem.