‘Acid survivors forum tries to dispel stigma’
Version of the following article appeared on phnompenhpost.com website on Monday, 21 May 2012 by Mom Kunthear
Srey Oun, 33, who was blinded in an acid attack by her sister’s business competitor, said acid victims especially women were often not seen as victims but as inviting attacks with their loose behaviour.
“Almost all acid survivors are accused of being involved in a love triangle. This makes me want to hide myself from society,” she told attendees of the Ending Acid Violence and Discrimination of Acid Survivors forum held on Saturday by the Cambodian Center for Human Rights at Kampong Cham province’s Kampong Cham town.
“I do not want to go out because I don’t want to tell others that I am an acid survivor.”
CCHR project coordinator Sorn Ramana said yesterday that many people wrongfully stereotype acid survivors.
“Society lacks education so they look down or discriminate against victims when they see their appearance,” she said.
Four acid survivors spoke at the Forum which was aimed to raise the awareness of students and residents of Kampong Cham. Kampong Cham is a hotspot for acid incidents due to its many rubber plantations which use acid in rubber processing.
Survivors also called on the Cambodian government to provide livelihood opportunities as employers often shied away from hiring survivors due to their appearances.
“Provide a centre for us to work or find us a market because we produce goods in CASC, but we do not have the market to sell them,” said Srey Oun.
Despite NGOs like the Cambodian Acid Survivors Charity giving survivors production opportunities, buyers were often not interested as they doubted the quality of the products, said Sorn Ramana.
The forum was also organised to reinforce the passing of the new acid law in December which is supposed to regulate access to acid and more strictly punish perpetrators of the attacks said Sorn Ramana.
To see this article in its original content please go to phnompenhpost.com website.
Posted on May 29th 2012 by Office in ASTI news