acid survivor

Acid attacks survivors are finding the courage to reclaim their lives — and seeking to raise public awareness and help stop future attacks. Their strategies include taking to the fashion runway, sharing their experiences in comic books and appearing in video resumes that show potential employers they are far more than their scars.

After more than a decade and nearly 50 reconstructive surgeries, MoniCa Singh has managed to forge a new path — actually, several paths, as a professional in fashion design, as an advocate who raises awareness of gender-based violence and reaches out to survivors — and this fall, as a comic book heroine.

The Extraordinary Courage Of Acid Attack Survivors

Photo: Chance Yeh/Getty Images
Caption: MoniCa Singh is an acid attack survivor — and a fashion designer and activist. She’s pictured at New York fashion week on September 15, 2016.

Nasreen Pervin Huq (1958-2006) was a prominent women’s rights activist from Bangladesh. After studying biology and nutrition in the USA, she returned to her home country, determined to make a difference.

She worked as a researcher for the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee, an organisation which aims to alleviate poverty. She was an advisor to the government on issues concerning women and girls, and was a member of the Bangladesh Committee for Human Rights. She also advised the World Health Organization on reproductive health issues. She had a crucial role in the formation of the Acid Survivors Foundation, helping victims of acid attacks obtain justice.


Watch: An Acid Attack Survivor Promotes True Beauty

Indian sari brand Viva N Diva has cast acid attack survivor Laxmi Saa in its inspiring new campaign, entitled “Face of Courage.” When Saa was 15 years old, she was doused with acid by a 32-year-old man for denying his marriage proposal.

Saa, who’s now 26, has become a vocal advocate against unregulated acid sales in the years since surviving the harrowing assault.

Gifs: Viva N Diva



Sheroes’ Hangout is a café run by brave acid attack survivors

“Our visitors are mostly people from around the world who hear about us in the news,” says 20-year-old Chanchal Kumari, another survivor running the cafe. Kumari was attacked by a man whose marriage proposal she refused in 2012. “They come here to see how acid attack survivors like us are coping with our lives.”

Acid attacks are a gruesome reality in India. The National Crime Records Bureau estimates over 1,000 such crimes are committed around the country every year, though the majority of attacks go unreported because of the shame the girl and her family feels and the fear of being attacked again.

Spoiled middle-class women: “Well, I sure as hell don’t feel like I need feminism. I’m perfectly happy and content and feel liberated.” Yeah, sure. But that teenage girl who got shot in the head for daring to fight for her right to an education and all those acid attack survivors in Pakistan might argue differently, you know?

On Monday, Alexsandro Palombo launched his new illustrated series, which depicts Disney Princesses as acid attack survivors.

The series features princesses with visually jarring scars, burns and disfigurations.

Palombo kicked off the series with the the hashtag #StopAcidAttack ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8th.

“If we just observe and stand still, then we are all accomplices,” Palombo said. “And [to] be complicit means to take the sides of those cowards, monsters and criminals.”

Read more via Huffington Post 

Meet the Inspiring Acid Attack Survivors Who Are Pushing to Change Uganda’s Laws

With broad availability of dangerous chemicals and light punishments, acid attacks were just waiting to happen.

KAMPALA, Uganda—More than half her body is completely shriveled, but 33-year-old Gloria Kankunda is adamant about one thing. “I’ll make these scars stars,” Kankunda, who has a glowing smile to match her personality, told Take Part.

She is one of the hundreds of women who have been left physically, psychologically, and socially scarred by an acid attack in the East African country in the past few decades.

Today, she is working to prevent further attacks as the managing director of Uganda’s Center for Rehabilitation of Survivors of Acid and Burns Violence, which she cofounded in 2012 to offer legal advice and health services to survivors. Late last year, the nongovernmental organization also succeeded in pushing through a bill that places restrictions on access to the chemicals and imposes a life sentence for someone convicted of perpetrating an acid attack. It was signed into law in December.

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23-year-old Ria Sharma opened India’s first-ever rehabilitation center that supports acid attack survivors medically, legally, psychologically and financially.

“I think the existence of such a center is going to be extremely instrumental towards changing the lives and future of acid attack survivors,” she said.

Read more via PRI.