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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Acid attack, or vitriolage, is a particularly malicious and damaging form of violence

The perpetrator throws acid at the victim, which has horrifying results.
Acid attacks seem to be almost uniquely found in parts of Asia, like India, Bangladesh (it records the highest number of such unfortunate incidents), Pakistan, Cambodia and Afghanistan (some reasons for the prevalence of acid attacks in these countries have been discussed below).

Most cases that come to light involve violence against females (The victims are, in most cases, females between 16 to 25 years of age.) by spurned lovers, rejected suitors, vindictive husbands or any angered male, for that matter. Their hurt ego, jealousy and other workings of the mind at their 'rejection' lead these men to seek 'revenge', and unfortunately, to drive home their point they decide to employ means which leave their victim scarred for life – disfigured, confined to their homes out of pain and mental distress, unable to earn a living...

Physical, Psychological, Social and Economic Consequences
i. Acids, at high concentrations can cause immense damage to the human body. They destroy or irreversibly damage the eyes, skin, the layer of tissue beneath the skin and respiratory passages.
In sufficiently high concentrations, it may even eat through the layer of tissue and reach the muscles and the bones. There have been cases of acids dissolving bones as well.

Eyes are very sensitive organs, and in many cases, victims suffer serious damage to the cornea. Blindness can also occur. Even if there is hope of regaining sight through surgery and implants, the process is lengthy and financially draining.

Acids, or acidic vapours, when inhaled, corrode delicate tissue that lines the nasal cavity and the respiratory passages, causing great physical discomfort and irreparable damage. The vapours may block the respiratory tract and make it difficult or impossible to breathe, sometimes causing the death of the victim.

All of this has even more potential for harm because often, proper treatment is not available, largely due to ignorance. There have been cases of the coconut oil being applied to the wounds and the victims being wrapped in blankets, while the correct procedure is to wash the acid away with large amounts of water.

ii. The victims of acid attacks are disfigured beyond recognition. Their appearance being distorted, they are shocked when they see themselves in mirrors, suffer from low self-esteem and feel worthless and many cannot think of walking out of their homes again.
It is difficult to even imagine what they have to live through – perpetual fear, the feeling that they are a burden upon the people they are dependent on, depression...

iii. Even if they do want to reintegrate into the society, it is not easy for others to accept them. Other people do sympathize with the victims, but find it difficult to face them and therefore these unfortunate people are neglected and ignored.

Victims of the attacks face many social problems.

In such a scenario, I think it is important to address this problem effectively and as soon as possible. In a country like India, where a huge gender gap exists and women are always vulnerable, it is important that this method which men employ to seek brutal revenge with much ease should be handled strictly.

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