So, yet another 2 acid attacks in the news. Every time I see those words it really does leave an acid taste in my mouth. I feel disgust, anger, fear, all rolled into one. I can’t say shock anymore, which is depressing. We seem to be getting used to it. My main question is always ‘Why?’. It was never common before. It’s a new phenomenon. I’m not saying it didn’t happen before but now it seems to be every day. Apparently, the latest one on a 3-year-old child wasn’t meant for the child but the mother – like that makes it any better. And it was perpetrated by the father… if you once loved each other and had a child together, why would you want to inflict so much damage on someone? What about the effect on the child?

But it seems acid throwing is becoming par for the course now. All part of our dumbed down and extremely violent society. It just keeps getting worse. Stabbings, gun crime, moped muggings, violent burglary, attacks on old people, (and incidentally there seems to also be a growing trend for suicide amongst young people).  Acid throwing seems to be becoming something to turn to when people are angry or feel aggrieved, as well as being used to make a street mugging ‘easier’, or even to make a mugging nastier – throwing the acid as some sort of final insult once you have committed the crime.

It’s always gone on of course. But it only used to be common in certain countries like Pakistan or India or anywhere in South Asia. However, in recent times the UK now has one of the highest rates of acid throwing per person in the world!! And this has increased in a very short space of time. No doubt mass immigration has played a huge part in this – the first cases I ever heard of in the UK many years back were against young Asian women who were refusing to marry the man of their parents’ choice, so either her or the potential groom or his family would try to ruin her looks so no one else would want her or as a form of punishment. But it seems to be more widely spread across the population here now, a frightening trend.

While in South Asia it is considered a gender crime mostly against women for the aforementioned reasons, in Jamaica, for instance, it is often women using it against other women who are competing for the same man! In the UK as you can imagine it is most often related to gang violence. In Mexico, it tends to be related to drug dealing. In Iran and Afghanistan, it is often against women who refuse to wear the hijab, whereas in Africa it is often motivated by relationship difficulties. And in the middle east, the acid throwing is more than likely to be connected to religious differences. And in China and Vietnam, it seems to strangely be random attacks on shoppers…

I could go on, as acid throwing seems to be taking place in more and more countries around the world, but what but what really concerns me is what is happening right here in the UK.  It is mostly linked to gang violence here but seems to be occurring more and more randomly every day. The UK has one of the highest rates of acid attacks in the world, according to the police. An average of two attacks a day are reported, but it is probably more.  2017 was the worst year for acid attacks in London, so it is going up, not down. And here the victims tend to be mostly males, although not all, as we know full well. The gang violence is bad enough but what worries and scares me even more is that acid throwing is becoming so commonplace and seems to be used as if it is becoming a ‘normal’ reaction… It has been used on the street, in nnightclubs at parties, in houses, during burglaries, everywhere…

 

The damage caused by acid is profound. The victim often won’t die but will be seriously injured and damaged for life. In some countries ,acid victims become isolated and abandoned for the rest of their lives. That doesn’t happen here of course, but the physical and psychological damage is the same. Victims suffer mentally and physically, and are often left blind and with terrible scarring, struggling to breathe or even speak…

So, I ask you, if the victim is left with lifelong injuries, why doesn’t the punishment fit the crime? Surely the sentence for acid throwing should be life imprisonment? How can an acid thrower ever be trusted in society again?  Is it any coincidence that as we have less and less police and police stations that our society becomes more and more violent? How are we supposed to feel safe on the street or in fact anywhere public with this as well as other violent crime on the increase? I feel like I am stating the obvious but yet nothing seems to change. Apparently ,sentencing for acid throwing has increased but as far as I am concerned only LIFE IMPRISONMENT is good enough! Prevention is always better than cure and in this case ,it is also vital that justice is done – if the victim has to suffer their whole life then so must the perpetrator. I cannot imagine anything much worse (or a more increasing possibility) than having it happen to me or someone I love…

Drastic action is needed on many fronts as far as violent crime goes, none more so than in the massively sharp increase of acid throwing in such a very short space of time.

Why has this particularly nasty crime increased so fast? And why here in the UK? I don’t exactly know…But right now, and first and foremost, we need to react and make the punishment fit the crime! And fast! What say you?

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