Acid attacks, also know as acid throwing or vitriolage, are a form of violent assault where acids or other corrosive substances are thrown onto the face or body of another individual. The intention is to maim, disfigure or kill the person. The acid can not only burn and remove the skin (as well as eyes, ears, nose etc) but can also expose and or dissolve bone. Acid attacks are found in countries such as Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Hong Kong, China, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda Ethiopia, Afghanistan and the United Kingdom.
Acid attacks have sever psychological effects in addition to their medical effects. One young woman that I photographed for this project was immensely sad because she felt that she would never find a man who would love her and want to have a family with her, and she wanted nothing more than to have a family. Many survivors end up severely handicapped and depended on their families for survival, which can be unbearable for them as they see the stress that comes from the situation..
These are a few of the thousands of people who have been attacked by acid in the past decade. The woman are almost always attacked because they scorned the advances of potential partner or turned down a marriage proposal. The male survivors were most often burned by a second party in a land or other dispute.
The Acid Survivors Foundation is a really wonderful organization that helps people that have been attacked with acid. They provide medical care and support as well as long-term support for the survivors. They have also done more than any other organization I have seen to educate the community about the plight of the survivors as well as working with government to strengthen laws and the push for punishment of perpetrators. If you are in a position where you can donate money, or even medical items, clothes, vocational training etc then please consider contacting this organization. You can find more information here: How To Help