“Seventeen year old Neela is one of more than 2,700 victims of acid attacks in Bangladesh over the past 10 years. ‘My husband was angry…because he claimed a dowry but my family couldn’t provide one’, she says. ‘His plan was to sell me in Saudi Arabia - when I refused he threw acid on me and he fled.’”
“Acid is thrown in women’s faces or forced down their throats almost daily in Bangladesh. Such violence melts skin and bone, often resulting in blindness. The country has become a hotspot for acid attacks, mostly on women, because of land disputes, refused marriage proposals and domestic quarrels.
A woman’s face is seen as sacred; to permanently scar it brings dishonour on her family and is a public mark of shame. It makes it hard for a woman to get married or gain employment and she becomes a financial and social burden on her family.
ActionAid helped to found the Acid Survivors’ Network (ASN), which is a support group for acid victims in Bangladesh. As well as helping them to regain their confidence, rebuild their lives and help them to earn a living, ASN offers the victims legal support to help prosecute the perpetrators.”