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Acid attacks on women rising and vastly under reported!

 

                

Acid Attacks on 

Rise in South Asia

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Disputes Lead to Crimes 

Against Women That Too 

Often Go Unpunished


                

In Mahalakshmi’s life, there is a day before and a day after.

The day before was Jan. 10, 2001. Her brown hair was pulled back, her brown eyes saw what she remembers as a “pleasant day,” 

a day when the doctor went to work at her clinic in Mysore, India, and returned home to her daughter.

The day after, she lay in a hospital bed, where she would stay for the next month and a half. 

She had lost her left eye and her left ear and her body was badly burned after her former landlord, in a rage, poured a bucket of acid on her head.

“For someone born normal at birth, and leading a normal life, all of a sudden you become a disabled person. 

It is difficult to accept,” Mahalakshmi, who uses only one name, told ABC News.

There are no national statistics on how many Indian women are the targets of acid attacks. 

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But read the newspapers here and you’ll find their stories, women having disputes over relationships or property or family, women who become the victims of crimes that physically and mentally ruin their lives.

The problem seems most acute in South Asia, although it is not restricted to this part of the world. 

The Bangladesh Acid Survivors Foundation reports that an average of 228 acid attacks have occurred each year since 1999. 

In 2002, in Pakistan, 750 women were injured in acid attacks, Human Rights Watch reported.

And in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, where Mysore is located, the Campaign and Struggle Against Acid Attacks on Women reports that 70 women have been attacked since 1999, but 
“there could be many more.”

“This is another form of violence against women, and the patriarchal values that exist in societies are responsible for this horrific form of atrocity,” 

Sushma Varma, the head of the campaign, better known as CSAAW, tells ABC News.

In Indian society there are multiple systematic ways in which women have become the targets of violence, from the burning of widows to the widespread aborting of female fetuses.

But acid is common here. Many Indians use it to clean their kitchens and bathrooms instead of bleach, and that’s why it has become a weapon.

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Survivors of Acid 
Violence Speak Out

by Scott Carney  N.P.R.
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Haseena Hussain at the CSAAAW protest in Bangalore

Last week 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. 
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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.  
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         Haseena Hussain unshrouded photo below
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3 Responses to “Acid attacks on women rising and vastly under reported!”

  1. […] public links >> acid Acid attacks on women rising and vastly under reported! Saved by siponkid on Wed 24-9-2008 Complications Associated with Acid Reflux Disease Saved by […]

  2. It is sad to think Human behaviour has sunk so low.
    The law needs to get off its backside,& do its job.

  3. This is a loads of bull shit,.


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