Acid attack is a heinous crime in India that is still prevalent here and in other countries. Reasons for such attacks, as stated by the attacker, are mainly around the refusal of a female to marry, land disputes, dowry, refusal to sex, among others.
According to a study on acid attacks in India, 78 per cent of the acid attack incidents are for refusal to marry, rejection of love, or any personal causes. It is a gender-based crime against women wherein studies say that men often resort to attacks when women resent relationships or other decisions in a male-dominated society.
Various Reasons Cited By Studies
The situation continues to be problematic due to the failure to cut acid's availability in an easily accessible day-to-day needs store. The illegal sale and purchase of acid is a non-bailable offence, but it is still available at regular stores and is casually purchased.
According to a UNICEF study, most of the victims of acid attacks are girls, many below the age of 18, who have rejected sexual advances or marriage proposals. Acid attack is defined as the act of throwing acid onto the body of a person "to injure or disfigure them out of jealously ore revenge".
Moreover, according to the Law Commission of India's 226th report, the attacker cannot bear the fact that he has been rejected and seeks to destroy the body of the woman who dared to stand up to him.
These conclusions reveal that gender-based atrocities continue in a male-dominated society as he feels authority over the female. She could not resent advances or choose, and women are regarded as a possession.
Other reasons include dowry or marital problems. Many women claim that they are attacked with acid because they could not meet the financial expectations of their in-laws. Property disputes are another reason, as cited by the study.
According to a study of newspaper reports in India, around 40 per cent of the attacks happen between unrelated people due to business rivalry, sales disputes, land disputes or revenge between families.
India has been on the top of the list of acid attacks. Between 2014 and 2018, there have been 1483 victims of acid attacks in the country, according to National Crime Records Bureau. Acid attack court cases were granted faster judicial access, but justice still takes long.
Women Do Not Wish To Report Cases
The delayed justice process adds to the woes of the victim, who is battling with the attack's physical, psychological, and socio-economic impact on her. The delayed justice system makes her not even file a case. Kulsum, working with acid attack survivors for years, said that there are multiple reasons for the silence even after the crime. She told the Femina, "Societal/family pressure, hindrance, the constant circles to court and lack of guidance regarding the matter are some major reasons why. Many times, fear of further being punished stops them from taking action."
Multiple organizations have been working to uplift the survivors by providing them with help and care to deal with the physical impact and empowerment for employment and encouragement to seek justice.
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