BEVERLY HILLS — An acid attack survivor from domestic violence, 29-year-old Atsede Niguse, has completed her first part of nasal reconstructive surgery on Friday, July 31, at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital funded by Face Forward International, a nonprofit organization.
Niguse’s husband threw battery acid at her in Ethiopia in July 2017. As a result, she became severely burned, losing her nose, one ear, and her sight. California resident Menbere Aklilu heard about her story on Facebook and obtained a humanitarian visa to go to Ethiopia and bring Niguse to the United States for treatment and regain some of her sight. Founder of Face Forward International Deborah Alessi stated Niguse is the perfect candidate as she is willing to share her story to help other women in the fight against domestic violence. Alessi had also been a victim of domestic violence in the past.
Prior to the attack, Niguse was studying biology at Hawassa University in hopes of becoming a teacher and running a cosmetology business on the side. Her husband forced the marriage and she was involved in the constant abuse for six years.
“People, they must learn from her story and my story, it’s okay to tell other people what happened to you,” Niguse stated to Daily Mail. “In our country, in Ethiopia, domestic abuse is a secret, child abuse is a secret. It’s okay to tell your story. You can save another person, your children and grandchildren.”
Face Forward International is situated in Beverly Hills and has completed over 500 surgeries to over 200 survivors of child sex trafficking, domestic violence and any cruel acts of crime regardless of their level of income, proving surgical care/emotional counseling free of charge. An average patient’s treatment costs nearly $10,000 and in 2018 alone, they have offered over $1,000,000 in free treatment services to the patients. To read more survivor stories or donate to the cause visit https://www.faceforwardintl.org.