Rapporteur_Hessam Karbasian: Violence against women in human societies is rising sharply and should seriously think about it by governments and human rights organizations. There are Rape and murder and discrimination among women in all countries, but there is a more important issue, the operation is very terrible and cruel in the name of acid.
Despite the growing trend of acid attacks in Asian countries, especially in our country it is necessary to examine the legal aspects of this crime. This cruel practice, not a lot of history, but its destructive effects can be considered more than the rest of violence against women.
While this practice is rapidly expanding, there isn’t any especially criminal law and there is no deterrent. We see some suitors who fail in romantic relationships with acid on a woman's face are of their vendetta.
Acid throwing, also called an acid attack, a vitriol attack or vitriol age, is a form of violent assault defined as the act of throwing acid or a similarly corrosive substance onto the body of another "with the intention to disfigure, maim, torture, or kill". Perpetrators of these attacks throw acid at their victims, usually at their faces, burning them, and damaging skin tissue, often exposing and sometimes dissolving the bones. The most common types of acid used in these attacks are sulfuric and nitric acid. Hydrochloric acid is sometimes used, but is much less damaging. The long term consequences of these attacks may include blindness, as well as permanent scarring of the face and body, along with far-reaching social, psychological, and economic difficulties.
Today, acid attacks are reported in many parts of the world. Since the 1990s, Bangladesh has been reporting the highest number of attacks and highest incidence rates for women, with 3,512 Bangladeshi people acid attacked between 1999 and 2013. Although acid attacks occur all over the world, including in Europe, this type of violence is mainly concentrated in South Asia.
Motivation of perpetrators
Personal conflicts regarding intimate relationships, and sexual rejection
In parts of South Asia, acid attacks often occur as revenge against a woman who rejects a proposal of marriage or a sexual advance. Such attacks are common in societies where there is a high level of gender inequality and women occupy a subordinate position in relation to men.
Another cause of acid attacks is conflicts related to dowry.
Conflicts over land and property
Conflicts regarding inheritance and other property issues are a cause of acid attacks. People are often assaulted due to land disputes.
Gang violence and rivalry
Acid attacks related to conflicts between criminal gangs occur in many places, ranging from the United Kingdom to Indonesia. The intention of the attacker is often to humiliate rather than to kill the victim. In the UK such attacks are believed to be underreported, and as a result many of them do not show up in official statistics.
Socially, politically and religiously motivated
Attacks against individuals due to their social or political activities, or due to their religious beliefs also occur. These attacks may be targeted against a specific individual, due to their activities, or may be perpetrated against random persons merely because they are part of a social group or community. In Pakistan, female students have had acid thrown in their faces as a punishment for attending school. Acid attacks due to religious conflicts have been reported in Tanzania.
In Europe, Konstantina Kouneva, currently a member of the European Parliament, had acid thrown on her in 2008, in what was described as "the most severe assault on a trade unionist in Greece for 50 years."
The most notable effect of an acid attack is the lifelong bodily disfigurement. According to the Acid Survivors Foundation in Pakistan, there is a high survival rate amongst victims of acid attacks. Consequently, the victim is faced with physical challenges, which require long-term surgical treatment, as well as psychological challenges, which require in-depth intervention from psychologists and counselors at each stage of physical recovery. These far-reaching effects on their lives impact their psychological, social and economic viability in communities.
In addition to medical and psychological effects, many social implications exist for acid survivors, especially women. For example, such attacks usually leave victims handicapped in some way, rendering them dependent on either their spouse or family for everyday activities, such as eating and running errands. These dependencies are increased by the fact that many acid survivors are not able to find suitable work, due to impaired vision and physical handicap. This negatively impacts their economic viability, causing hardships on the families/spouses that care for them. As a result, divorce rates are high, with abandonment by husbands found in 25 percent of acid assault cases in Uganda (compared to only 3 percent of wives abandoning their disfigured husbands). Moreover, acid survivors who are single when attacked almost certainly become ostracized from society, effectively ruining marriage prospects.