What is Acid Attack

Acid Attack, also called an acid throwing or vitriolage, is a form of violent assault. It is defined as the premeditated act of throwing acid onto the body of a person "with the intention to disfigure, maim, torture, or kill." Perpetrators of these attacks throw acid at their victims, usually at their faces, burning them, and damaging skin tissue, often exposing and sometimes dissolving the bones. The most common types of acid used in these attacks are sulfuric, nitric, or hydrochloric acid. The long term consequences of these attacks include blindness and permanent scarring of the face and body, along with far-reaching social, psychological, and economic difficulties.
These attacks are most prevalent in Cambodia, Afghanistan, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and other nearby countries.

Acid Attacks in India

The Thomson Reuters Foundation survey says that India is the fourth most dangerous place in the world for women to live in as women belonging to any class, caste or creed and religion can be victims of this cruel form of violence and disfigurement, a premeditated crime intended to kill or maim her permanently and act as a lesson to "put her in her place". In India, acid attacks on women who dared to refuse a man's proposal of marriage or asked for a divorce are a form of revenge. The number of acid attacks have been rising in India and there have been 68 reported acid attacks in the state of Karnataka since 1999. Tom O'Neill of National Geographic reported that acid attacks are also used to enforce the caste system in modern India.

Acid attacks in India, like Bangladesh and Pakistan, has a gendered aspect to it: analyses of news reports revealed at least 72% of reported attacks involved women. However, unlike Bangladesh, India's incidence rate of chemical assault has been increasing in the past decade, with a high 50 reported cases in 2013. Altogether, from January 2002 to October 2010, 153 cases of acid assault were reported in Indian print media while 174 judicial cases were reported for the year of 2000. However, scholars think that this is an underestimation, given that not all attacks are reported in the news, nor do all victims report the crime to officials.

Reasons for Acid Attacks

Motivation for acid attacks in India mirrors those in other countries like Bangladesh and Pakistan: 34% of the analyzed print media in India cited rejection of marriage or refusal by women of sexual advances as the cause of the attack and dowry disagreements have been shown to spur acid attacks. Land, property, and/or business disputes accounted for 20% of acid assaults in India from 2002 to 2010. One such incident would be Sonali Mukherjee's case where the perpetrators were granted bail after being sentenced to nine years of Jail. Thereafter, when her family approached High Court, all the legislators, and MPs in search of justice, all she got in return was assurances and "nothing else". The perpetrators got away scot-free. Without media attention, an acid attack victim languishes in pain and poverty, their families often unable to bear the medical expenses.
Another reason for rise in acid attacks is its easy availability of the self. Any one can purchase a bottleofacid for has low as Rs 20 tosettle his/her score with the victim. And since there is no tracibility the preprator often get away withit. 
In a recent landmark judgement, The Supreme Court of India has passed an order on July 18th 2013 to ban Sale of Acid in retail market without collecting proof of Identity of the buyer. However the implementation of the order lie with individual State Government. How efectinve this new law will be is to be seen.

Effects of Acid Attacks

The results of acid attac on human body is terifying. Corrosive acid like Nitric or Sulphuric Acid has a catastrophic effect on the human flesh. It causes the skin tissue to melt, often exposing the bones below the flesh, sometimes even dissolving the bone. When acid attacks the eyes, it damages these vital organs permanently. Many acid attack survivors have lost the use of one or both eyes. The victim is traumatized physically, psychologically and socially.

An acid attack on your body would dramatically change your life. Most survivors of an acid attack are forced to give up their education, their occupation and other important activities in their lives. This is because recovering from the trauma takes up most of their time and because the disfigurement they have to bear debilitates and handicaps them in every conceivable way.