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Acid Attacks growing more frequent!

 

Acid Attacks:              

So Very Evil! 
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Bangladesh newspapers reported in 1998 that in a nine month period, ten girls under ten years of age were attacked, 79 women between 11-20 were attacked, and 20 victims were between 20-30 years old. 

Often other members of the family are also harmed when they are in the vicinity of the acid attack (WIN News, 1999).Acid victims are viewed as pariahs;                

usually they are even blamed for causing the attack (Chung, 1999). Defense lawyers invariably portray the victims of acid attacks as flirts who drive the assailants to an extreme form of revenge. 

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But as U.M. Habibunnesa Habiba of Naripokkho, a women’s rights organization, points out: 

“These crimes can never be spontaneous acts of passion because the offender has to arrange for the acid and to carry it in a safe container.” 

She says the attacks are a favored means of reta

liation because they can totally break a woman’s spirit.

“The idea is to damage the face or the vagina,

because that will hurt a woman – and her honor – most,”

she says (Hossain, 1999).

Most survivors experience a dramatic change in lifestyle and face social isolation that is damaging to self-esteem and economic position. 

An unmarried woman attacked with acid will likely never marry (bicn, 1999). 

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“The trauma stems from excruciating pain and unbearable shock compounded by social rejection even by their own families”, 

states Mir Mohammad Iman Hossain, director of Monowara Hospital (Shil, 1999). 

Dhaka Medical College has seen the average number of victims increase from two to three per week, with many rural attacks going unreported. 

Chemical burns horribly disfigure victims and most women in Bangladesh cannot obtain any reconstructive surgery (Feminist News, 1998).

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The Survivors

Masammat Monira, married at the age of 10, was attacked in 1998 by her husband who was angry over the amount of dowry paid by her family.

She was one of the victims who was offered help by Spanish surgeons offering free reconstruction. 

 

 

 

 

 

She had surgery to reconstruct her eyelids, neck, nose, lips and an ear, and was hardly recognizable to her own father after treatment (BBC, 1999).
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Bina, at 17, was an accomplished sprinter and had hoped to compete in the Olympics someday. One night, a local thug broke into her house and poured acid on her face.  
              

Bina was taken to the hospital and her uncle had to sell everything he owned to pay for her medicine, bandages and blood. 

She was severely scarred and had a badly damaged left eye. Bina was one of the first acid victims to take off her veil. 

Most victims are too ashamed to show their faces and hide behind closed doors and curtained windows (Chung, 1999).

Ambia Khatum, a 30-year-old widow, was sleeping with her two sons, ages 4 and 6, when an elderly man whose marriage proposal she had spurned broke in and splashed acid on the faces of Ambia and her boys. 

Ambia is now blind and her boys are scarred for life. 

“I’m better off dead. What use am I now to anyone?”, 

said Ambia. “If I testify against this man, his family may kill me or kill my children.

But I will testify.

He must be punished.” (Schmetzer, 1999).

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Thirteen-year-old Sonia and her two younger brothers were watching television at home when a 21 year old male emptied a bottle of acid on them to punish her for complaining to her parents about his excessive attentions. Sonia lost her sight (Hossain, 1999).

Sufia was 20 and had just been accepted at college, a major achievement for a girl living in a poor Bangladesh village. 

Sufia and her sister Helen were sleeping in the same bed when a man her sister had turned down for marriage broke in and threw the acid meant for Helen onto Sufia’s face. 

Sufia’s great ambition was to be an agronomist. 

“Now she’ll probably end up as a beggar”, 

whispered Dr. Samata Lal Sen, a plastic surgeon in Bangladesh (Schmetzer, 1999).

Eighteen-year-old Josna Begun’s husband doused her with acid in a dispute over her dowry. She ‘appears as a living mummy, with a face almost fossilized by scars’. 

She and other victims will not recover their former appearance in part because they were so malnourished they did not have reserves of skin to spare (WIN News, 1999).

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2 Responses to “Acid Attacks growing more frequent!”

  1. Hi,
    thank you for the article.

    I am doing a semester paper for my
    World Issues class on acid attacks.

    I was wondering if you knew how many
    of these women receive adequate,
    or any, medical attention.
    Thank you.

    • Hi Katie,
      I’m not sure of how
      many women are attacked
      and get help off the top of
      my head but if you enter
      “ACID ATTACKS”
      in the search box of
      22MOON you will find
      over a dozen stories
      about acid attacks that
      will yield tons of
      info and photos.

      Also,
      BRIDE BURNING
      and
      HONOR KILLING
      are related topics
      and I have dozens
      of stories on both.

      Hope this information helps
      spread the word about this
      horror and you’re paper
      will rock also as well
      as enlightening people.

      Rash


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