Building on the February 2012 Oscar win for Saving Face and its March 2012 HBO broadcast, outreach efforts have been in full effect. Project SAAVE leverages the film to raise awareness of the issue of acid violence and highlights solutions to eradicate it. You can now join Glamour Magazine and Project SAAVE in an effort to build a burn center in Pakistan, which will deliver essential medical treatment to acid-attack survivors. Click here for more information.
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Outreach Efforts in Pakistan
To date, outreach efforts have focused on a grassroots public awareness campaign in the Southern Punjab area of Pakistan where acid attack rates are highest. Specifically the campaign has:
- Produced and aired radio and television public service announcements in southern Punjab reaching thousands of people. This is the first time radio and television stations have carried a message condemning acid violence and educating community members about the 2011 legislation that made acid attacks a punishable crime.
- Developed a leaflet with information about the legislation and resources for survivors. It will be disseminated widely in the same region, in both English and Urdu through clinics, mosques, and community centers.
- In partnership with the UK‐based NGO Islamic Help, the campaign is supporting a project to sensitize Imams to acid violence and other forms of gender-based violence and equip them with messages and information they can bring to their congregations. This will be an unprecedented level of education around this issue at this level reaching 120 Imams directly and over 400,000 community members indirectly.
- In partnership with Islamic Help, the outreach campaign is also supporting survivors through a livelihood program. This effort is underway through a pilot project with five women. The NGO Women’s Social Organization in Muzzafargarh is on board to assist in monitoring and evaluating the project. After assessment of the pilot it will be expanded.
- In partnership with the Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent in North America and film subject, plastic surgeon Dr. Mohammad Jawad, the campaign is supporting efforts to expand the burn unit at the Mayo Center in Lahore, Pakistan, so that more victims may receive critically needed medical and psychological care.
- APPNA and Dr. Jawad are also convening the first ever conference on chemical burns in Pakistan in December 2012. We are pleased that SAVING FACE was the impetus behind connecting APPNA and Dr. Jawad in this effort.
Other Signs of Change
There is no doubt that the global attention SAVING FACE has brought to the horrific issue of acid violence has advanced the global fight to eradicate it. We hear from policymakers, civil society leaders and advocates who applaud the film for breaking the silence around this issue and bolstering those on the front lines of this work.
- Pakistani leaders are actively working on a new piece of legislation to restrict the sale of acid, an essential next step for prevention due to the ease with which acid is currently available.
- In September, the Australian Government announced $6.7 million to support women in developing countries who had suffered violence and acid violence was specifically named in their statement. These funds go to the United Nation Trust Fund for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
- In neighboring India, where acid violence rates are also among the world’s highest, the campaign supported the free screening of SAVING FACE in the No More Violence Against Women Film Festival to coincide with the annual 16-day international campaign against gender violence in November 2012. The free 3-day festival reached many venues throughout India, including campuses and small villages.
- INTERNATIONAL POLICYMAKERS: The film screened for members of the European Union at UN Women in Brussels; the Department for International Development and Parliament in the United Kingdom; and at Pakistani embassies around the world.
- NORTH AMERICAN LEADERS: The film screened for women policymakers at the Women in Public Service Project; the annual convention of the Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent in North America; and members of the State Department at the United States Institute of Peace.
- FESTIVALS: The film has screened at key women’s and human rights festivals and festivals in the Arab World including: Human Rights Watch in the United Kingdom, Abu Dhabi International Film Festival, the annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America, and soon at the No More Violence Against Women Film Festival in New Delhi, India. It has won numerous awards.
- BROADCASTS: Over a million viewers tuned in on HBO in March 2012. Broadcast rights for Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Holland, Australia, Indonesia, Israel, Poland and the Arab world will reach millions of international viewers.