Acid throwing is a specific and horrible act of violence which, according to official statistics, is on the rise in Iran.

This kind of violence is mostly against women and children. These attacks are often done with the intent to disfigure, maim, torture and destroy the social life and future of their victims.

The motivation to commit this type of violence is cultural destitution and intolerance. It most often happens in situations of family conflict: whether rejected marriage proposals, divorce requests or revenge.

In addition to physical and psychological damage, the victims face the experiences of social stigma and blame.

Across Iran, such victims are in dire need of medical and financial support as well as counseling services. Unfortunately, there is no governmental or even non-governmental organizations who attend to these issues in the country. Thus, burn victims have to treat themselves with recourse only to public aid and charitable donations.

—Asghar Khamseh

Editors’ note: This powerful, touching portrait series was selected as a finalist in theMagnum Photography Awards 2016. Discover more inspiring work from all 44 of the winners, finalists, jurors’ picks and student spotlight award winners.