London saw 454 acid attacks in one year, up from 261 last year, and Londoners are reportedly afraid. Acid is now a commonweapon, frequently used in robberies.
The most common places for acid attacks are on streets in the UK, France, Bangladesh, India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Cambodia and other places.
The attacks are particularly common in South Asia, where male attackers use the weapon to disfigure women as a form of punishment or control. But London is fast on the region’s heals and has, in recent times, earned the unenviable title of ‘acid attack capital of the world’. Although Dhaka, in Bangledesh, is reportedly home to the most acid attacks each year with an average of one woman doused in chemicals each week.
The number of assaults is increasing rapidly.
The British capital saw 454 acid attacks reported last year, up from 261 in 2015 and 166 the year before.
Some injuries are mild and others are critical.
Jaf Shah, head of the London-based Acid Survivors Trust International, said victims were “incredibly strong, resilient and courageous individuals”.
”Because when you take into account the devastation of such an attack, it requires an enormous amount of strength to go through and recover,” he told AFP.
Shah blamed the increase in attacks on a lack of regulation to stop people buying acid, although he noted the recent cases have “concentrated the minds of government officials”.
People don’t feel safe walking in the streets. Offenders are in their teens and early twenties and they are using the acid to ruin peoples’ faces and their lives.