Why it happens
Victims of acid violence are attacked for many reasons, and the patterns of attack vary from country to country. Sometimes they result from domestic or land disputes, dowry demands or revenge. In many cases they are a form of gender based violence, perhpas because a young girl or woman spurned sexual advances or rejected a marriage proposal. As the mother of an acid attack survivor in Bangladesh told us, referring to the attack on her daughter by her new husband,
The man to whom we handed over our beloved daughter with the hope that he would nurture her dream, has shattered it instead.
Many children, men and the elderly are also attacked.
The availability of acids used in manufacturing and processing cotton and rubber, for example, is a leading cause of attacks. Weak rule of law, political corruption and cultural inequalities between gender have contributed to increasing incidents of acid violence in many countries. ASTI and its partner organisations are working to strengthen the rule of law to address acid and burn violence, while helping to raise awareness of the issue and ensure service delivery centres are available to support survivors.