Girls Having Their Breast Ironed Out

Breast ironing - the brutal flattening of a young girl's developing chest to 'protect her from rape and sexual harassment' - now affects 3.8 million women around the world, according to a UN report. The process uses large stones, a hammer or a spatula that has been heated over hot coals to compress or mutilate the breast tissue and make the adolescent look less 'womanly'. It is a widespread practice in Cameroon, Nigeria and South Africa with the girl's mother being the abuser in 58 per cent of cases, according to the Department of Public Health Services.