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As defined by UNICEF
In an acid attack, a man throws acid (the kind found in car batteries) on the face of a girl or woman. Any number of reasons can lead to acid attacks. A delayed meal or the rejection of a marriage proposal is offered as justification for a man to disfigure a woman with acid. Sulfuric acid is ubiquitous, being the basic, inexpensive ingredient for making lead acid batteries in all motorized vehicles all over the world. There does not appear to be any way of reducing its availability in any way. The court systems in Bangladesh has only recently started to administer stiff punishments to perpetrators, hoping that this will work as deterrent to others.
The Acid Survivors Foundation was established in May 1999 in Bangladesh to tackle the problem.
Throwing of sulfuric acid on the face and body of young females has become an increasingly popular way of expressing anger or frustration by jilted men, some being jilted lovers, ex-husbands, and the like. Some of these young women are nothing more than unfortunately being at the wrong place at the wrong time. In some cases an entire family have been victimized due to a bad relationship between one person in a family and an outsider.
A recent article in the New York Times reports that Kerosene has become the "weapon of choice" for attacks on wives in India. Please see the
December 26, 2000 issue for more information.