I was scrolling through my feed when I saw the news
It was another girl who had to suffer from an acid attack too.
I got goosebumps all over my body, my hands were shaking and sweating thinking about what she must have gone through.
It was just a “NO “and a choice to live her life as she wished to
But little did she knew,
A “NO “could change her life just like that,
Someone could actually burn her skin like she didn’t have a soul underneath
Almost 90% acid attack happens when a girl rejects boy’s proposal and the guy wants revenge, a terrible idea bounces in his brain to burn her face with Acid which can maybe make her regret about the decision she made
To live her life without having to say “YES” to an, after all, a criminal mind.
It is an extension of the idea that “If I can’t have her, then no one can.”The perpetrator is delusional enough to think that she is rebuffing his advances because she is arrogant. And he seeks to destroy what he thinks is the source of her arrogance. Her looks. This is what happens when misogyny mixes with criminal insanity.
It is a classic example of the patriarchy system. A boy is allowed to do anything he pleases and always escapes without anything. He is treated specially and this conditions him to believe that he is entitled to everything he wants, including the girl of his choice. Never mind what the girl wants. So when the girl has the gumption to actually refuse him, his massive inflated ego gets ‘hurt’ and he chooses to destroy her life.
The acid attack causes severe pain. Imagine a pot of hot boiling oil, now imagine the same oil pouring to your face that’s the level of pain an acid attack victim should go through it even more than that, can’t even imagine, to be honest. Apart from that psychological trauma, permanent disfigurement, infections, and social scarring all because a guy or a girl mainly a guy can’t handle rejection.
The most hateful thing in this is generally the attacker is someone you know. This makes the situation worse for victims as they become mentally and emotionally weak and in many cases, the crime goes unreported.
The main intention of the attacker is often to destroy someone’s life to humiliate others and show the anger and frustration. Jealousy is said to be one of the most driven factor that motivates attackers to commit such heartless crime. The victim is in a living hell. I cannot imagine the sheer amount of pain they go through. Their face/body is disfigured, they are in constant pain, some go blind or deaf, some are unable to breathe or eat normally because of the damage to the face.
In addition to all this, they are shunned from the society. Friends and relatives stop supporting/talking to their families. Their parents have to see their child in constant pain. The medical expenses are very high and most of the time, as these incidents happen in rural India, the families cannot afford the treatment. I just cannot imagine how difficult it is to go on living after this.
The growth in the acid attack can be seen every year and this is mainly due to easy accessible of inexpensive acids such as sulphuric, nitric acid. The growth in attack is also due to weak law and punishment.
Acids react violently with bases, causing an extreme reaction in many cases. If it’s a strong base, it can be as damaging or worse than a strong acid. It takes just 30seconds for the acid to burn the skin to a very deep level. It causes very immediate disfigurement, pain, and burn to the body. It has the power enough to even dissolve or melt the bones.
Multiple reconstructive surgeries are required to re-figure the exposed part and this too does not guarantee a complete cure. Acid comes for as cheap as 30-40 rupees per litre, making it very easy for the perpetrator to buy . I still remember this line when a acid attack survivor told , “ we wonder why 1liter of acid is sold cheaper than a 9 ml bottle of eyeliner .” Yes I mean why is it so cheap in the first place and why is it available in many places.
Every acid attack victim goes through a horrible pain which not all of us can neither understand not imagine. And the main challenge for these victims is the proper medical challenge which many of them fails to receive.
If “God Forbid ‘’Somebody throws acid
It’s even difficult for the victim to respond to anything so folks nearby lady can perform such acts for some relief so let’s talk about what can be done when the damage is done and you can be there for any help.
Rinse the affected area with fresh water.
Wash the burned area with cool water until the pain begins to subside (up to 45 mins) or professional help arrives.
If the substance is in the victim’s eye, hold their eye under gently running cold water for at least 10 minutes.
Gently and safely remove any clothes or accessories that have come into contact with the acid
If possible, loosely wrap the affected area in a sterilized gauze. This will help keep the wound clean.
First aid treatment for specific areas:-
Check for and remove any contact lenses. In case of contact, immediately flush eyes with plenty of water for at least 15
Minutes. Coldwater may be used. Get medical attention immediately.
In case of contact, immediately flush skin with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes while removing contaminated clothing
And shoes. Cover the irritated skin with an emollient.Coldwater may be used. Wash clothing before reuse. Thoroughly clean
Shoes before reuse. Get medical attention immediately.
Serious Skin Contact:
Wash with a disinfectant soap and cover the contaminated skin with an anti-bacterial cream. Seek immediate medical attention.
If inhaled, remove to fresh air. If not breathing, give artificial respiration. If breathing is difficult, give oxygen. Get medical attention immediately.
Do NOT induce vomiting unless directed to do so by medical personnel. Never give anything by mouth to an unconscious person. Loosen tight clothing such as a collar, tie, belt, or waistband. Get medical attention if symptoms appear.
But before it happens it is better to take some prevention.
Unfortunately, there is not much you can do to protect yourself from someone throwing acid. The problem is it’s hard to know when someone is going to attack another person with acid. But what you can do is try to prevent it from happening by following these safety tips:-
Be aware: Always be aware of people around you, especially if they are holding a cup or bottle since acid is usually carried in a cup or bottle. Also, be aware if a person is acting in a suspicious manner.
If you rejected the proposal of a guy doesn’t matter whether he’s rough guy or a decent person more than Half of the acid attacker is from decent and well-educated society and family ..Then you need to be aware do not roam alone unnecessarily and always walk on crowded streets. This might sound like why girls can’t have the freedom to walk alone but you cannot control someone else mental behavior so it’s better to be safe in the first place.
If You notice that guy follows your movement frequently then immediately contact police might be he is plotting attempt of acid attack.
Be vigilant: It is not easy to predict an acid attack. However, by being vigilant, one may realize that one is about to be attacked in the next few seconds. Once you realize this, you can be pro-active by calling for help by shouting in order to ensure the attacker is flustered. Additionally, one should try to protect their faces with their hands, accessories or some kind of cloth. However, I admit that being vigilant all the time is quite impossible.
Do not take situations lightly: In our country, quite minor arguments or disagreements between men and women have the probability escalating to proportions where such men might resort to such heinous crimes. I would suggest you do not ignore the probability of this happening. Such a situation, if it escalates to threatening etc., should be a signal to step up vigilance, and if possible, reported to authorities who can step in. This will ensure that the guy is on his guard.
Women have always been denied their rights and respected position in society. They have been criticized, condemned, molested, raped and now are being subjected to acid attacks. And we need to stand against these tortures that they have been going through.
It is painful, depressing, and horrifying to know that there are people living in the world that are unfit to be called humans because they choose to do something like this to another person.
This deteriorating status of women needs to improve. This has to end now.
Now let’s talk about how can we stop this vicious act and help the girls who goes through this type of suffering. The NGOs and INGOs can play vital role in reforming the Live of acid survivors. The acid attack survivors find very difficult to adjust back to the society so it’s our responsibility that we take care of acid attack victim by empowering them, making them feel welcome and mostly by providing them the justice they deserve.
Our society is in utmost need of awareness about do’s and don’ts after being attacked by acid. Both, the government and the private sectors should, therefore, focus on making people aware about what could possibly be done after being attacked to decrease the reaction of acid or any other toxic substances of such.
Country like Bangladesh has shown that with correct steps rate number of acid attacks can be decreased. So now its our turn to change the legislature to do the right thing and reform the law. We can’t afford to see another girl go through that trauma . Things like Banning the sale of acid to minors the Court said the corrosive substance could be sold to only those who have valid identity cards issued by the government and that too after specifying the purpose for the purchase in writing can help a lot in decreasing this type of cases.
National governments hold the ultimate responsibility for introducing and implementing laws and policies around acid violence against women and girls. Therefore governments should be, held accountable for doing so. They are also well placed to achieve change on violence against women and girls.
I believe though, that proper policing and administration is the only answer to this menace our society faces. Acid Attackers should be given stringent punishments and their cases should be fast-tracked. The Crime of an Acid attack is not on a small range, day by day the crime of acid attack is increasing so instead of making such useless law the government should take appropriate action which actually will help the victim.
When acid cannot be obtained easily and acid attacks lead to strict punishments, women will be liberated to a great deal from the fear of these attacks. Mere writing a law will not change things on the ground, all agencies will have to come together to implement it in its true spirit. The fear of law and punishment within a stipulated time is necessary to save girls from being attack.
Remember, together we can change the world so let us all unite and be a silver lining for those who see their lives in darkness. Let’s be a new hope for them, to make them march on in their lives.
Thankfully people are standing up against it now. Not as strongly as they should. But they are and that’s a great start.