The damage it causes
Nitric or sulphuric acid has a devastating impact on the human body. Very often, survivors are permanently blinded and lose the use of their hands, making everyday tasks such as mothering difficult if not impossible. Without assistance, many survivors will be unable to find gainful employment, and even with help, returning to the routines of their previous life will take years.
In the meantime, on a day-to-day basis, survivors experience limited endurance and must deal with numerous discomforts such as skin tightness and severe itching.
The psychological scars may be less visible but they are just as real and traumatic. The severe isolation many survivors face as they are ostracised from their communities, lose the ability to earn a living and much of the independence they once enjoyed, causes additional difficulty.
In the poorest countries where many women depend on the income generated by their husbands, women survivors face little chance of marriage, condemning them to extreme and inescapable poverty.
Coming to terms with the trauma of the attack, the permanent scarring and disfigurement, and the loss of social acceptance are some of the biggest challenges a survivor will need to overcome.
Despite these hardships and many others, many survivors can and do rebuild their lives. With the opportunity to learn new skills, and with encouragement and social support, survivors are helped to help themselves, to find meaningful jobs, and live in peace.