Disfigured by acid, the face of violence against Yemen's women
THU, 02/04/2021 - 13:55
Married at the age of 12, rejected at 16 and then disfigured in an acid attack, Al-Anoud Hussain Sheryan's fate is a shocking illustration of abuse in a society beset by war and poverty.
Now aged 19, the Yemeni woman agreed to relate her ordeal at the hands of her abusive husband -- rare testimony in a country where domestic violence is largely hidden.
"He grabbed me by the hair and poured the acid on me while laughing," she told AFP as she sat with her veil framing a face badly scarred by last October's assault that also left deep wounds on her body.
"I went through hell," she said, describing her years of marriage which she said she spent chained and often beaten.
When her father died, Al-Anoud's mother remarried and then hurried to find a husband for her daughter.
"She wanted to protect me," she said.
Having lived for four years as a "slave", Al-Anoud was eventually kicked out by her husband, taken in by her sister and began training as a nurse.
But her ex-husband decided he wanted her back, and when she refused, he took his revenge.
After being hospitalised in a clinic where she had once been employed, Al-Anoud is now waiting to undergo the three plastic surgery operations needed to repair some of the damage.
Her doctor Moutawakal Chahari said the procedures will be complex and expensive, and even the bills for the first aid she received had not yet been paid.
Apart from this, he stressed the "irreparable psychological effects" of her ordeal.