Survivor stories

Peyara, Bangladesh

Peyara was attacked with sulphuric acid after refusing to have an illicit relationship with a man who was tutoring her young son. The incident left Peyara permanently blind in one eye and with extensive burn injuries to her head, face, shoulders, chest and back. Her six year old son, who was near her during the attack, was also severely burnt.

With the support of her loving husband, and the help of the Acid Survivors Foundation in Bangladesh where Peyara was given free psycho-social rehabilitation, medical and legal support, today Peyara stands tall with dignity and honour.

“My incident happened to me back in 1998 in this home. It was towards the evening and that man opened the door, came over to me with a mug in his hand. He poured the mug, which was full of acid, over my head. This is why my skull was so extensively involved.

There were not such good practices as now, as after the incident I had to travel all the way to Dhaka Medical College Hospital to be treated for my scars. The wounds had not even healed and I was already released from the hospital. There was nowhere for them to keep me there.

I met John Morrison (of ASTI) and he was so kind to me. He took me to a place where I received treatment and also got treatment for my son. My son was also burnt on the chest area and arms. From this help we have become very close friends of the Morrison family who often visit me and would ask about my health and wellbeing.”

“When it happened it was so terrible. I felt so helpless, and always, very often thought about dying. I would think about ways to kill myself. I remember being in a very crowded part of Dhaka, and I would think about jumping in front of the moving cars.

That was way back when it happened. I would have those thoughts. But as time has passed and with the help of sympathetic people from this country and overseas, I have found strength and peace of mind. For the last five years or more I have felt no difference from what my previous life was like. I even feel like my life has been enhanced because of my contact with such great people from countries all over the world who visit me. They give me strength, talk to me. Because of meeting with these people my views have expanded, my mind is more open.

I’ve received leadership training through the ASF and since I have been involved in many local organisations, small and big. I now act as an advocate on the acid violence issue.

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