And there’s Colombia, where acid attacks on women are the hot new fad.
Every glance at a mirror transports Consuelo Cordoba to the moment when her boyfriend doused her with a skin-searing acid that obliterated her face, leaving her with gruesome wounds that will never heal.
The chemical burned off an ear, melted an eye, ate through her lower face and ruined her teeth. She now wears a skin-tight elastic mask, breathes through a straw-like tube that protrudes from her nose and walks the streets looking “like a monster,” as she put it.
“I would like to go to sleep today and not wake up tomorrow,” she said. “The truth is life is too hard and I am alone.”
What could she possibly have done to deserve that?
The precise reason for the spike here — and not in, say, neighboring Peru — is not known. But women’s rights advocates in Colombia talk about an epidemic of violence against women, from spouse-battering cases so extreme that they make the nightly news to reports of illegal armed groups using rape as a weapon in a murky rural conflict.
“Sometimes in the West we make fast judgments and say, ‘Look how terrible they treat women in the East,’ and we don’t look first at ourselves,” said Monica Roa, the Bogota-based international programs director of Women’s Link Worldwide, a rights group. “The violence here may be different, but it emanates from the same place. This is a culture where machismo reigns, where men do what they want to do.”
H/t Simon Davis.