Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Survivors of Acid Violence Speak Out

Posted by Stop Acid Attacks On Wednesday, March 06, 2013

A young woman from Mysore was doused with a bottle of hydrochloric acid and then forced to drink a mixture of acid and alcohol. No one was surprised. Her husband had abused her for years, she had even lodged a series of complaints with the police in the months before the final attack. Two days ago Hina Fathima died in a Mysore hospital.

Acid violence is increasingly common across South Asia and cases like Fathima's are common enough that they often don't even make the front page of local newspapers. The Campaign and Struggle Against Acid Attacks on Women, or CSAAAW, has recorded 61 acid attacks in Karnataka since 1999. While most of the women die from their injuries or from suicide some survivors have come out to try to change local laws that make acid cheap and easily available at any corner grocery store. The women who do survive often have to bear terrible medical costs and often lose their eyes, noses, ears and any semblance of facial expression.

Last week I traveled to Bangalore to meet with the founding members of CSAAAW and do a short story for NPR about the prevalence of acid violence and interviewed key people in the campaign. So far the government isn't really taking the problem seriously. They contend that only a handful of women who are victims of these attacks are not a pressing enough problem. The state sponsored fund meant to pay for the women's medical care is hardly enough to cover the costs of two or three patients, let along the scores of women in the state who desperately need treatment.

The real danger of acid violence isn't only the effects that it has on victims, but in the role that it plays in Indian society as a threat. The mainstream media often shows angry men threatening their lovers with acid. Many women I know live in fear that they could be targets of some acid wielding assailant. For 18 rupees anyone can buy a bottle of acid that is 32% concentrated--it's a weapon that just about anyone can afford and ruing someone's life is as easy as splashing it in their face.

(This article is taken from redmarkets website.)



    About Us

    SAA is a campaign against acid violence. We work as a bridge between survivors and the society, as most of the victims of this brutal crime, which is much more grave in its impact than a rape, have isolated themselves after losing their face. Due to ignorance of the government and civil society, most survivors find no hope and stay like an outcast, in solitude. SAA aims to research and track acid attack cases and compile a data to get the actual situation of survivors.

    Our Mission

    We work with partners and stakeholders towards elimination of acid and other forms of burn violence and protection of survivors' rights. The process of justice to an acid attack victim remains incomplete until she gets immediate medical, legal and economic help, along with the critical social acceptance. Our vision is to free India from this crime, which reflects the flaws of our patriarchal society and abusive attitudes. We want survivors to have access to fast justice and fight back the irreparable impact of this crime.

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    Any amount you can donate to us, no matter how small, will be very gratefully received and put to good use helping acid and burns violence survivors. Your help could help pay for dressings and medical supplies for recuperating patients. A small help could help survivors with vital physical rehabilitation after an attack, including physical therapy and nursing.

    Click this link to donate for a good cause.

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    We welcome all the volunteers to come forward and join us in our camping and contribute in whatever way possible. Please visit the Join Us page for more details.