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Acid attacks

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It cannot be imagination that there seems to be an increase in the incidence of, and a new spotlight upon the occurrence of acid attacks.  For instance the recent Channel 4 documentary Saving Face on Wednesday 16th of January, which focused upon some of the 150 reported attacks in Pakistan every year, mainly against women.

For any human being the face is central to their self and identity, the unique individual who is revealed to family, friends and the world at large. So to have acid thrown into your face by a husband or family member, ex husband or boyfriend, a thwarted suitor or in some cases complete strangers paid to carry out a grudge attack, is a devastating and highly personal assault resulting in terrible suffering and injuries. 

Although surgery and advances in prosthetics can achieve amazing results, they cannot give back the face once looked at in a mirror. Surgeons such as Mr Mohammad Jawad, who featured in the previously mentioned documentary, are generous in donating their time and skills to operate on those who otherwise could never afford such corrective treatments. The victims who must literally face the world following such an attack are the ones whose courage and strength we must admire as they endure the physical and emotional scars with such fortitude.

But not all these attacks take place in other countries. Mr Jawad is probably better known to many in the UK as the surgeon who operated on the model and television presenter, Katie Piper. She was the victim of a similar acid attack in this country, her attackers were arrested, tried and imprisoned.

But it’s not just women who are the victims in these assaults, as proven by the recent acid attack on Sergei Filin, Artistic Director of the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow.

It is a sad reflection upon any country or society that anyone considers such behaviour could ever be accepted as the normal response to the break down of any relationship or indeed some disappointment in the workplace. 

By Jean Stewart

  • Stephensons’ Personal Injury team has specialist knowledge in dealing with claims to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, a government organisation that compensates innocent victims of violent crime for the injuries they have suffered.