The most tragic symbol of America’s failure to expand human rights in Afghanistan was the parade of women who set themselves on fire as a last ditch way to communicate their despair. The news cycle for the burning of women seems to have ended, and the horror conveniently forgotten by fickle Americans. Today Kevin Sites managed to recapture a hefty chunk of attention with the story of an abused child bride. When I checked the story over 11,500 people had recommended it, and almost 7000 had commented. Thanks to the gift of news coverage, one abused child will receive an abundance of help, and perhaps a few others will benefit from some spillover generosity. It’s heartening to see there are some abuses that can still get past the American “that’s your problem, don’t drag me into it” mentality.
The only thing that bothers me is that the thing that’s clearly moving Americans to action is the picture of Gulsoma’s scars. Does that mean a person has to have extreme scarring to prove their status as a victim of abuse? Just as Gulsoma’s tormentors deliberately avoided her face, the truly clever abuser will avoid physical scars all together, and instead seek to inflict maximum social or psychological violence. Injuries that can never be proven are perhaps the most damaging of all.