Acid Attacks Against Women in India on the Rise: Case Study

  • Dr. Arpana Bansal et al.


Hundreds of acid attack cases take place every year in India. These incidents largely arise out of the
rejection of unwanted male attention. Disgruntled fathers, disenchanted lovers, jealous colleagues or those
seeking revenge against a family, make women their target. Acid, as ubiquitous as toilet-cleaning liquids,
are readily available at corner stores. Acid has emerged as the most preferred weapon of violence against
women. While it destroys the skin in a matter of seconds, no amount of corrective medical surgery can bring
the skin back to normal. Each surgery costs around Dh8,000 (Rs. 150,000 to Rs. 200,000).Attackers will
usually throw acid on the face, resulting in scarring, deformity and permanent injuries, like blindness for
example. The treatment is a prolonged one and the victims go through several surgeries, each more painful
than the one before. Scarred for life, they are ridiculed and feared and often held responsible for the attack
not just by society, but also by their own families. India tops the charts when it comes to acid attacks. A
country where the sale of acid over the counter was banned in 2013, we have too many cases and most
where women are attacked as part of domestic violence or for dowries. In the light of Chhapaak, the
Deepika Padukone film on the life of acid attack survivor Laxmi, we look at the current statistics and data
on women and acid attack accidents. Even though these cases are supposed to be in fast-track courts, the
path to justice continues to be long and exhaustive leaving survivors with no choice but many times to
relinquish it midway. When these survivors go out to start their life afresh with a disfigured body and face,
they get criticism and society alienates from, leaving their soul deeply