Target: Juan Manuel Santos, President of Colombia
Goal: Applaud legislation imposing harsh minimum sentences for the perpetrators of acid attacks.
New legislation to protect women against brutal acid attacks has been introduced in Colombia. The law will close a legal loophole that classified acid attacks as “personal injuries,” which allowed the perpetrators of these attacks to get away with light sentences or even scot-free. Under the new law, any person who uses a chemical agent to deliberately cause harm to another person will face a minimum sentence of 12 years in prison with the possibility of 50 years in prison if the victim suffers permanent disfigurement.
Acid attacks are commonplace in Colombia with around 100 reported per year and many more left unreported. The overwhelming majority of victims are women, and the face is the most common target. The caustic chemicals used in these attacks, which include sulfuric and boric acid, can eat away flesh and even dissolve cartilage and bone. This horrific type of assault can lead to deafness, blindness, permanent disfigurement, and death.
By taking a harsh stance against this kind of vicious assault, the Colombian government is doing its part to protect women all over the country. In order to further the crackdown on acid attacks, the government should also do more to encourage victims to come forward. Sign the petition below to praise the new punishments for those who perpetrate these attacks and ask that a comprehensive approach is taken to combating Colombia’s widespread acid attack problem.
Dear President Santos,
A new law was recently introduced that will impose a mandatory minimum sentence of 12 years imprisonment for perpetrators of horrific acid attacks. These attacks most commonly victimize women and are aimed at the face, where corrosive chemicals are likely to do the most damage. They can result in blindness, deafness, permanent disfigurement, disability, and death.
These heinous attacks have been prevalent in Colombia for far too long, but this new law is a good first step in combating them. Not only will it ensure that attackers are appropriately punished but will serve as a deterrent for future attackers. In order to ensure that the law reaches its maximum efficacy, the government must decrease unreported incidents by educating potential victims. We, the undersigned, praise the introduction of a new law that ensures that the perpetrators of acid attacks are adequately punished.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: UK Department for International Development