Rise in acid attacks in Britain


by Rumbold
19th May, 2010 at 9:53 pm    

Charities and hospitals are reporting a rise in acid attacks, which is often a method of revenge on an individual or group:

In parts of the developing world – particularly south-east Asia, the south Asian subcontinent and east Africa – acid attacks are common. The Taliban and fellow extremists have frequently resorted to throwing acid in women’s faces for even small transgressions, such as daring to go out unveiled. But there are concerns that such attacks may also be on the increase in the UK.

Hospital admission figures for the past three years show a steady rise in the number of people being treated for acid attacks. According to the NHS information centre, 44 people were admitted to hospital in 2006-07 after they were “assaulted with a corrosive substance”. The following year the figure jumped to 67 and last year there were 69 admissions.

As Rick Trask, one of Britain’s leading researchers on acid attacks, pointed out, it is not unique to any culture, but is usually gender-based (often aimed at women, or men who have had relationships with the ‘wrong’ women) and is a deliberate attempt to scar the victim. Meanwhile, Diana Nammi and Jasvinder Sanghera, heads of the charities IKWRO and Karma Nirvana respectively, report a significant number of phone calls from women from Middle Eastern and South Asian backgrounds worried about potential acid attacks on them.

The police and the state have done some good work in combating ‘honour’-based violence, but this is a new and disturbing trend in the fight against it.


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  1. Samuel Buckett — on 19th May, 2010 at 10:28 pm  

    This type of attack is obviously at the high end of barbaric. Interesting that Rick Trask (can’t immediately find them through Google) find it necessary to make the point that such attacks are not unique to any culture. This sounds like the usual diversity mantra aimed at avoiding stigmatization of any one group. But one suspects we are talking principally about Muslim communities. There must be the argument that this pretence of moral equivalence between different communities is a barrier to addressing problems.

  2. not_marvin — on 19th May, 2010 at 10:58 pm  

    Anecdotal evidence would indeed suggest acid attacks in this country are carried carried out by Muslim males against females (often Muslim too), every single case I’ve come across in the news the perpetrator (and normally the victim) had an Islamic name.

    I mentioned this rather obvious correlation before and people went fucking nuts. It’s surely just symptomatic of cultures of where extreme misogyny can run riot, strict Islamic cultures are bound to score highly on “honour” based attacks and this particularly vicious and disfiguring of attacks.

    How can outsiders fight such things? Surely it’s down to people in the communities rising up and taking a stand against the kind of fuckers that would do this to a person.

  3. earwicga — on 20th May, 2010 at 10:53 am  

    Marvin – how is your ‘community’ ‘rising up and taking a stand against the kind of fuckers’ that beat and rape and murder women?

  4. platinum786 — on 20th May, 2010 at 11:12 am  

    It’s not the job of communities to deal with this, it’s the job of the law. Hand out the harshest sentences possible with no chance of parole and then we’ll see these attacks reduce.

  5. Napier — on 20th May, 2010 at 12:37 pm  

    The attempt to paint this as an issue that affects all communities equally is a hangover from the Labour era.

    It is clear to any normal observer that these attacks are occuring disproportionately in the Muslim and particularly Pakistani groups.

    Orla Guerin filed a report on the Pakistani problem, you will notice she is yet to file a report on Bhuddist acid attacks.

  6. Kismet Hardy — on 20th May, 2010 at 1:11 pm  

    I spent my first 13 years in bangladesh and the only bit of science I remember is H2S04, which is sulphuric acid, something they warned against regularly at school, because so many blokes were throwing it in the faces of so many girls. But everyone knew where to get hold of some. It made me scared and sad as a little boy, makes me sick as an adult. Men!

  7. damon — on 20th May, 2010 at 8:43 pm  

    earwicga @ 3. The difference is that the kind of violence against women that you mention is not so much part of a trend like the acid attacks and honor killings that are almost part of a mainstream culture in some parts of the world.

    When Du’aa Khalil Aswad was killed by her family, it was a massive village wide conspiracy which even the police were complicit with afterwards. It says in this article that honor killings were running at nearly 600 a year in Iraqi Kurdistan in a couple of recent years.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/iraq/article2801016.ece

    So it’s a cultural thing.

  8. halima — on 21st May, 2010 at 3:53 am  

    Hi, I agrees with comments that it’s nasty and vile but not about honour killings where families and others are involved and the crime is legitimised.

    Don’t confuse the two.

    The stories I have heard of acid violence as Kismet Harday says are about boys/young men being unable to handle rejection from a girl they fancy. The victim of the attack is usually pretty, and the bloke in question just can’t handle the fact that another man might look at her. It’s sick that it can be so easy for men to be able to take rejection so far.

    It’s not thing that happens just in Asia. The first time I heard was when i was I school in London when the girls talked about acid violence in Jamaica – quite a common form of violence against women – committed by men and other women, too.

  9. halima — on 21st May, 2010 at 4:13 am  

    When I was in working Bangladesh some years ago, I came across the work of the Acid Survivers Trust International. They are at the forefront of work to combat such violence:

    http://www.acidviolence.org/uploads/files/ASTI_Annual_Review_2008.pdf

    “Acid Violence: A Global Phenomenon
    Acid violence is a world-wide phenomenon, most significantly occurring in poor countries where the rule of law is weak and where policing
    and judiciary systems are inadequate. Due to improved media coverage, attacks have been reported in Laos, China, Japan, Ethiopia,
    Nigeria, Kenya, Mexico, Jamaica, Guyana, Algeria, Afghanistan, Iran, Greece, Turkey, Australia, and the UK. ASTI has also received appeals
    from individuals in Vietnam and Sri Lanka who have been attacked and are requesting assistance.

    It is a common misconception that acid attacks are exclusive to the Indian sub-continent, or that attackers are Islamic fundamentalists
    punishing women for behaving outside the realms of what is considered as “modest” behaviour. On the contrary, research indicates that
    attacks are being carried-out by many different nationalities and are not limited by race, religion, creed or location.”

  10. Sofia — on 21st May, 2010 at 11:55 am  

    You wonder why us muslim women actually choose to be muslim..I mean if our husbands aren’t suicide bombers, then they’re violent against ‘their’ women by any of the below methods
    a)acid throwing
    b)genital mutiliation
    c)beating the shit out of them
    d)forcing them to marry their first cousin
    e)honour killing
    f)aspects of all of the above and any other form of humiliating behaviour that can be used on a woman

    Of course we’re muslim because we’ve been brainwashed or beaten into submission to a man…

    Samuel, Marvin and Napier – we know you find it hard to think outside of the daily mail mindset, but please try…

  11. Kismet Hardy — on 21st May, 2010 at 12:51 pm  

    Don’t forget we muslim men tend to be very generous and patient because we have to buy four sets of lingerie and put up with four choruses of nagging. No one thanks us for this

  12. Sofia — on 21st May, 2010 at 1:37 pm  

    Oh yeh I forgot that one..thanks for reminding this poor abused muslim woman about that…you also forget the ‘women your right hands possess’ ..the gazillions of women you have tucked away in your private harem…

  13. not_marvin — on 22nd May, 2010 at 12:53 pm  

    Good points Sofia.

    Why are those things so prevalent in South Asia, North Africa and the Middle East? And why bring these family values to the UK, if they’re here to seek a better life? One does wonder.

    Good to see that you’re openly angry at the people who do these things, rather than the people who talk about the problem, and don’t take any offence because somebody mentioned that acid attacks on women are quite particular to people of severely misogynistic cultures such as people from “Middle Eastern and South Asian backgrounds”. I can’t imagine too many UK born are throwing acid people’s faces, it does all depend on the family upbringing. And such would include UK born Muslims.

    Sad that this is fodder for the BNP and racists, but really, you’d need to take it up with the people who sully the good name. It’s an old saying, but wise; try not to shoot the messenger. ;)

  14. Fahd — on 23rd May, 2010 at 6:08 pm  

    With regards the first two anti-Muslim commentators, Samuel Buckett and Not Marvin “Acid attacks“ are more common in the Muslim community because:

    1) Other Asian groups like Hindus murder their girl children in the womb so the issue of mistreatment of adult female children never arises

    2) The anti-Muslim press only reports and focusses on these acts when done by Muslims not other religions

    Using your own logic anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that financial crime seems to predominant amongst followers of the religion of Judaism. So why
    focus on other communities in the name of the mantra of diversity. There must be the argument that this pretence of moral equivalence between different communities is a barrier to addressing problems.

  15. Fahd — on 23rd May, 2010 at 6:23 pm  

    damon
    “earwicga @ 3. The difference is that the kind of violence against women that you mention is not so much part of a trend like the acid attacks and honor killings that are almost part of a mainstream culture in some parts of the world.

    When Du’aa Khalil Aswad was killed by her family, it was a massive village wide conspiracy which even the police were complicit with afterwards. It says in this article that honor killings were running at nearly 600 a year in Iraqi Kurdistan in a couple of recent years.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/iraq/article2801016.ece

    So it’s a cultural thing.“

    Du’aa Khalil Aswad was a non-Muslim (Yezidi) killed by her non-Muslim (Yezidi) family for having a relationship with a Muslim boy. Yet this apparently is also the fault of Muslims LOL.

    Du’a Khalil Aswad (c. 1989 – c. April 7, 2007) was a 17-year-old Kurdish of the Yezidi faith who was stoned to death in an honor killing.[1] Some reports claim that Aswad was murdered for having converted to Islam to marry an Iraqi Sunni Muslim boy.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stoning_of_Du'a_Khalil_Aswad

  16. The ghost of Joe strummer — on 25th May, 2010 at 11:40 pm  

    retarded religious fuckwits

    bang em up to the fullness the law allows

    2010 and still some people don’t get this evolution shit.

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