The family of a five-year-old Afghan girl, victim of an alleged rape by a 22-year-old man, sits at her hospital bedside in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan, on November 12. News agencies reported that the assailant, a neighbor, was later detained by police.
(Read about the continued struggle of women in Afghanistan in National Geographic magazine.)
Why We Love It
"The perspective and stark lighting reinforce how small and defenseless this little girl is—her body engulfed by the bed and blankets, with only her feet showing. The bedframe appears to trap her and her family, just as they are trapped in this cycle of violence."—Monica Corcoran, senior photo editor
"This image has a symbolic quality. The light draws our attention immediately to the girl. We see, however, nothing to identify her. It could be any girl who is lying there. Her family at her bedside and their facial expressions indicate that rape affects not only the victim. Overall, this image shows the universality of human suffering."—Amina El Banayosy, photo intern