Rejected Man Throws Acid On Woman's Face

Photo: taramara78 / Shutterstock
woman covering face

This is the saddest story ever: a 27-year-old man threw acid on the face of Iranian woman Ameneh Bahrami, blinding both her eyes after she refused repeated marriage proposals from him. Women should not be afraid to say no to men.

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According to CNN, her attacker, who is known only as "Majid," fell for Bahrami at college and his mother attempted several times to arrange a marriage between them.

Bahrami refused and even lied to Majid, telling him she was already married. Despite her refusal, he stalked her at her workplace to harass her. She even reported him to the police, but the cops said there was nothing they could do until he actually tried to hurt her.

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What, no restraining orders in Iranian law? Maybe if they existed, the horrific attack on Bahrami that followed would not have occurred: one day in 2004, Majid followed her home from work and threw a container of acid on her face. Passersby tried to wipe the acid off and took her to the hospital, but doctors were unable to save her eyeballs. She is now blind.

Majid, who we would imagine is seriously mentally ill, says he still loves Bahrami and is still offering to marry her. But she's got another idea: seriously scary retribution. CNN reports that a three-judge panel ruled that Majid's eyes should also be blinded by acid, as well as financially compensate for the damages to his victim's body.

Whoa. That's intense. An eye for an eye, literally.

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Throwing acid in a woman's face is a disgusting, horrible occurrence in many countries and it doesn't just happen in cases of domestic violence: recently, a group of schoolgirls in Afghanistan had acid sprayed on their faces with a water gun because they dared to pursue an education.

In cultures where women are considered to be of lesser value, we can easily imagine how a jilted, possessive lover would throw face-disfiguring acid in a woman's face. If he can't have her, then no one else will.

What makes rejected people commit acts of violence? Why do people commit acts of violence against people they profess to love?  

"Majid" is a textbook case of an abusive and possessive man: he stalked her at work, he refused to take no for an answer, and he eventually hurt her.

It's so sad and infuriating that it went that far.

If you or someone you know is suffering from abuse, even if it is not quite as extreme as acid in your face, you can explore options for help at the National Domestic Violence Hotline. It's available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in over 170 languages.

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Editor's Note: This article was originally published in 2008.

Jessica is a journalist who writes about women's political, societal, and cultural issues. In addition to YourTango, she's written for Bitch magazine, Salon.com's Broadsheet blog, Feministing.com, the New York Daily News, Huffington Post, and others.