Target: Shri Rajiv Mehrishi, Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs
Goal: Ban the widespread availability of deadly acid commonly used in acid attacks against women and girls.
Acids used to mutilate and humiliate women in brutal attacks are widely available in countries where the assaults are most common. It’s easy to go to any store with cleaning supplies and buy acids that rapidly destroy skin and tissue on contact, no questions asked. This is part of the reason that up to 1,000 acid attacks happen in India each year–and that number is rising.
Acid attacks are often used against women and girls to ruin their lives after they reject men or leave a relationship with a man. It is a highly gendered crime, with around 90 percent of the victims being female. Victims are left scarred for life, physically and emotionally, and endure infections, extreme pain, blindness, and other loss of function. Some die from the complications, and the rest are left permanently disfigured.
Lack of regulation and the effectiveness of the humiliation has caused a 250 percent rise in these attacks in recent years. Action has been taken to increase the punishment for these crimes, but acid attacks continue in part due to how easy it is to purchase extremely destructive chemicals in India. Sign our petition to demand that acids commonly used in these assaults be taken off the shelves and replaced with safer cleaning products.
Dear Secretary Mehrishi,
As you are no doubt aware, acid attacks are on the rise in your country. In the space of two years, the rate of this crime increased by 250 percent, with 90 percent of the victims being women and girls. Part of the reason for this is the fact that common products with a dangerously high acid content are so easy to find and purchase in India.
I appreciate that you have taken steps to regulate acids and increase punishments for those who commit acid attacks, but it’s not enough. More and more victims are still enduring intense pain, disfigurement, blindness, and various and sometimes deadly complications due to these assaults, plus the resulting social ostracization. Acids commonly used to attack and ruin the lives of women are too widely available to the public and need to be taken off the shelves.
There are plenty of alternatives to toilet cleaners with high acid content, and any other acids should be strictly regulated when it comes to manufacturing, distribution, and storage to prevent them from falling into the hands of those who would use them for violence. Help end this rampant and horrific violence against women by stopping criminals at the source.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Sand Paper