“Domestic violence is very real in Pakistan and very few women speak out about it. It’s the accepted norm that your husband has some “right” to verbally and physically assault you. The fault lies partly with women, we don’t speak out, we don’t shun the men who do this and this emboldens them to continue abusing their spouses. It is time for the sign “This house is free of domestic violence” to be placed outside all our houses!”

–From Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy’s article

‘A Thing Of The Past’(2014).

Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy’s Oscar predictably upset the ultra-nationalists and the self-proclaimed patriots of Pakistan. Their objections were absurd when people took umbrage on the choice of subject- acid-burn victims. In her award- winning documentary ‘Saving Face’, the woman that decided to be part of it did so because they wanted to make their voices heard and wanted to bring attention to this form of assault. National pride cannot come before the safety of Pakistani citizens. Chinoy wanted their stories to be heard and have an impact.

Many victims are women attacked by their husbands, and others are assaulted for turning down proposal of marriage. One girl in the documentary describes how she was burned after rejecting the advances of her teacher. She was 13 at the time. It is high time that we as a society start talking about this very real crime, and not bash women that are actually trying to highlight it and remedy the problem.