Burning Injustice : A Rights Advocacy Manual for Lawyers, Activists & Survivors on Acid Violence in India

Campaign and Struggle Against Acid Attacks on Women (CSAAAW) is happy to note that HRLN is bringing out a training manual to deal with the issue of acid attacks. After our legal advocacy on acid attacks in Karnataka, CSAAAW published “Burnt not Defeated” an analysis of the High Court cases. This new publication is timely and pertinent because acid violence against women continues to be one of the most heinous forms of violence. Acid attacks involve deliberate use of acid as a weapon on the victims’ faces and bodies
so as to cause serious injuries that are sometimes fatal.

Violence against women as a form of patriarchal dominance has found expression  in many ways – sexual abuse, dowry harassment, female infanticide, sexual harassment at the workplace, caste violence and so on. Even as women struggle against these, and many more forms of violence continue, we are faced with yet another horrific crime – that of acid attacks. Acid attacks are not limited to any
caste, class, profession, urban/rural area or other such categories. As in other cases of violence against women, men known to the victim/survivor usually perpetrate acid attacks. The attacker(s) may be a friend, colleague, employer or husband. Another characteristic feature is that these attacks are carried out both in private as well as public spaces. Acid attacks are not random or natural phenomena, but a social phenomenon deeply rooted in a gender system that is highly patriarchal and establishes control over women, which in turn justifies the use of violence against women.