Afghan Woman Maimed By Husband For Not Scoring Heroin

By McCarton Ackerman 04/14/14

After he was denied money, the addict husband beat his young wife to the point of exposing her brain and cut off her nose.

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A young wife from Afghanistan is desperate for reconstructive facial surgery after being maimed by her drug-addicted husband.

Sitara, 23, was sold off as a child bride at the age of seven. Her husband, 20 years older than her, was a hashish addict at the beginning of their marriage and eventually progressed into a crippling heroin and crystal meth addiction. She had already refused his demands for a divorce so that she could protect their daughters from being married off for a few thousand dollars each in order to facilitate his drug use. But he mercilessly beat Sitara when she refused to give him money and a ring to sell.

After bashing Sitara’s head in so severely that part of her brain was protruding from her skull, her husband cut off her nose and upper lip with a knife. One of their four children, 10-year-old Somia, witnessed the incident, but he threatened to kill the girl if she screamed for help. Sitara’s husband eventually fled the scene and neighbors who heard the screaming called police. “I struggled but then blacked out,” recalled Sitara. “When I woke up, I tried to touch my nose and lips but I felt nothing."

Doctors in Afghanistan stabilized Sitara, but the damage to her face was so severe that she was flown to Turkey for reconstructive surgery. Surgeons used part of Sitara's forehead to construct a new nose, while taking tissue from her thigh to rebuild her upper lip. However, she’s unhappy with the results and hoping to find a surgeon in the U.S. for additional surgery.“I hate [my face] every day. It would be better to be injected with poison and die. That’s how I feel,” she said. “When my children saw me after my face changed, they didn’t believe I was their mother.”

Sitara’s husband has still evaded police, leading authorities to believe he fled into the mountains or crossed to Iran. But the Ministry of Women’s Affairs in Afghanistan still stepped in to relocate her and the children into a new home. Somia said witnessing the attack has inspired her to become a doctor so she can help others like her mother.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.