Afghan Women Setting Themselves On Fire To Avoid Domestic Violence
Young women in Afghanistan are resorting to life-threatening measures by doing what they see as they only way out of a life of abuse at the hands of their husbands….and sometimes even their own family members.
via ABC News
“My brother-in-law, mother-in-law, and my father, they were all beating me. They wouldn’t let me go outside.”
Outwardly, the young girl once so full of life in the western Afghan city of Herat, looks just like the other patients in this hospital wing: Young, afraid, and wrapped in white bandages nearly from head to toe. But her medical report, like the others, carries a dark secret.
“From day one, I wasn’t happy,” she continues. “I didn’t want to be married to him, but my parents forced me. The place where I got married is far from the city, and I didn’t want to go there.”
Cultural norms dictated Wahida be a “good wife” and do as her father instructed. Before long, she’d given birth to a baby girl, a mark of shame, according to some Afghans, that her first born wasn’t a boy. After the birth, the beatings got worse. Eventually, they became so regular, so severe, that Wahida did the unthinkable.
She set herself on fire.
When she was brought to the hospital, her in-laws insisted it was an “accident.” Their story: Wahida, like a good Afghan wife, was cooking in the kitchen when suddenly a gas cooking canister exploded. Admitting the young woman had set herself on fire would bring shame to the family’s honor, and had to be covered up at all cost.
This story, and the many others like it, are truly heartbreaking. And to adding to the horror of this article, the woman mentioned above was actually 3 months pregnant at the time she set herself on fire. You can read her entire story and others like it here.
Image via Shutterstock
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