BURNT! The Peril of Acid Attack

Haseeba Afzal, Madiha Ahmad, Mishal Dar and Samiullah

Life is a test for every being. The hardship and struggles for every person is different, But for few the hardship is real, and they must face it throughout their life. The complexity level might be the same, but the bearing time is different for everyone. It is one of the facts that this life is all about the lessons. Allah has created so many different human beings who are different like five fingers. Along with that, he gave us the teaching that helping and understanding each other is morality and the goal of life.

Acid attack is one of the social crimes. It is when inhumanely victims get burned by a so-called human because of any reason which thus affects the victim’s life forever. This is a serious crime as life is a right of every human being. Everyone can spend life in the way he or she wants. So, it’s inhumane to destroy someone’s any part. When these people lost their real appearance then their hearts become the reflection of what they are, but still, it is a merciless act to show that they are more powerful than the creator.

Acid attacks are because of many reasons. One of the reasons is that most of the part of our society is male dominant, and the man thinks that aggression and female is its inheritance. When females refuse marriages or refuse sexual intercourse. The wild man burnt it thus they thought that as an expression of control but it’s a domestic violence

Other reasons may include when father or brother burnt their sisters to protect the honor of the family. Sometimes because of jealousy or not getting proper attention, out of the rage, they burn innocent souls. In some cases, the non-intentional burn may also occur. Whatever the reason is the loss is of the person who got burned and for the rest of the life, the dressing of the injury becomes their fate.

Effects of Acid Attacks – Individual and Community Level

In our society, acid violence is ubiquitous and pervasive, but it is often unnoticed. The current crisis has revealed that our culture lacks a sense of belonging, which is a serious problem. This frequently leads to uncertainty and an unstable environment. As a result, women in our society are severely oppressed.

Effects on Individual Level

1. Social Isolation and Social Ostracization

Because of the lifelong scarring on their faces and bodies, the victims were socially stigmatized and isolated. There was a sense of guilt, which led to even more social isolation. Victims recoiled when they saw pity or disgust in people’s eyes, resulting in limited social connections. Victim shaming and body shaming were also factors in the social disengagement.

2. Physical Consequences

Acid physically burns through the layers of the skin and tissue, producing severe pain and harm. It eats through the skin’s multiple sheets, into the fat and muscle beneath, and occasionally down to the bone, where it may destroy it. The severity of the harm is determined on the acid’s strength and the length of time it is in skin contact; the burning continues until the acid is thoroughly rinsed away with water. Furthermore, acid quickly eats into a person’s eyes, ears, nose, and mouth if hurled on their face. As a strong scorching heat rips through the victim’s flesh like a hot knife, the pain is excruciating. It’s possible that your eyelids and lips will entirely burn off. The nose may shrink up and close the nostrils, and the ears might melt.

3. Lack of Trust

According to a survey, the majority of respondents said their spouses were the abusers and that they do not want to compromise with them in any situation, while others said they had pleaded for heavy punishment and demanded justice.

They were stuck in the idea that they would never marry again because they had vile thoughts for the offenders, despite the fact that a few of them wanted to remarry and were unable to take legal action against the abusers since they were from impoverished households. They would like custody of their children and have shown an urge to take judicial steps to protect them.

4. Distress in the Mind

The memories of what happened to you are always there in your head. As a result of the findings, it is obvious that psychological discomfort is an inescapable side effect of acid assault. It can be on a personal (insecurity about her personal well-being and safety), family (collateral damage to the victim’s mental health and that of her family), or social (blowback to the victim’s mental wellbeing and that of her family) level (to face harsh behavior of society). Suicide attempts can result from such distress. “Even I had considered suicide when I realized that I would never be the same again,” one of the responses said.

Effects on Community Level

The individuals who are not married are unlikely to marry since they suffer from a variety of infirmities such as blindness, deafness, and a variety of other challenges, and our current societal attitude is not wide enough to accept a disabled person as a wife. They are even denied employment despite their qualifications because they are unable to match the expectations of their employers due to a lack of “personality.” Rather than assisting them, we make their lives more difficult by commiserating with them since we don’t like to stare at their faces for lengthy periods of time. This approach, however, needs to be modified because people are suffering not because of their own faults, but because of the faults of some wild beasts roaming freely throughout society.

Acid Attacks in Pakistan

Thousand of the Pakistani population have been subjected to this immoral crime due to domestic violence, severe dispute, social pressure, relentless advocacy, and dirty politics. This barbaric violence has given physical as well as psychological scars to many innocent people of our nation.

As per the data of the non-profit organization, luckily we can see a drastic decline in the acid violence problem in our country.

Acid burning incidents across the country have decreased by more than half over three years, according to a 2017 report published by the Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF) Pakistan. According to the ASF report, acid attacks in the country fell to 73 in 2016 from 153 in 2014 – a 52% reduction. The number of incidents in 2016 is also considerably lower than the annual average of 111 acid attacks over 10 years, according to the ASF database.

Many organizations are working swiftly to eradicate this horrible crime. One of them is the Depilex smile again foundation which was founded in 2003. For the last two decades, DSF is providing not only medical care but also psychological, moral, and social assistance to the acid victims in their battle against this brutal atrocity. There are many success stories associated with this noble foundation which has been boosting the morale of the patients.

Recently, Ms. Masarrat Misbah along with Acid Attack survivors shared their success stories in Atta Ur Rahman School of Applied Biosciences, NUST.  They discussed many individual and social issues that are faced by the victims in their daily life. The barriers and the hurdles that are created in their path and unfortunately how our society judges the victims more instead of the criminal. It was an eye-opening seminar that motivated the young generation a lot.

Laws for Prevention of Acid Attacks

There are a lot of laws regarding the heinous offence of acid or any corrosive material attack in Pakistani legislature. According to Acid and Burn Crime Act 2018, a bill that was passed in 2018, contains several punishments stated in the bill for the attackers or offenders also there are penalties for the people aiding or helping these crimes so that anyone should be doing or helping to do such a horrible act could meet their consequences and can not even think of doing these atrocious cruelty.

According to the laws, the acid attackers will get the punishments that re non-bailable so that they can not appeal for mercy in court. If acid attack result in death of the victim, the attacker will get the punishment of death according to this bill. Other than that anyone who throws acid on someone with intention to burn any part of their body or cause deformity in their body, will get the imprisonment of seven years that too un-bailable and will be fined for five hundred thousand rupees (five lac rupees).

Anyone who helps in this crime will also be considered as guilty of the crime and get the imprisonment of seven years.

It also includes that when an acid victim is brought to any medical-care unit, private or public, there is the need to inform the nearest police station of crime and investigation of the crime case is compulsory. And if some office is unable to do proper investigation or do defective investigation and breach their duty, there will be actions against such officer which can result in two years imprisonment or fine or both depending upon conditions. There is law for protection of witnesses so that no one can harass them about the situation and if anyone do so, there will be two year imprisonment and fine of one thousand rupees or both.

Both medical and financial care will be provided to victims and victims will be considered as people with disability and can have all the benefits of The Disabled Person Ordinance 1981. All medical expenses will be aided by government for the victims. Also Acid Burn and Crime Monitoring Board is made that can help victims get justice and fair treatment.


Acid attack is a very odious crime which can leave not only scars on someone’s face but can leave a huge trauma in someone life. Majority of victims are women in Pakistan. However there are a lot of foundations and organizations working for the victims so they can get justice and they can be able to live again. Pakistani laws for acid attacks will be very helpful if they are implemented with honesty and it can really reduce the ratios of such horrendous crimes. Also the education of young minds is so important about the awareness to reduce these crimes.

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