Calls for action after brutal acid attack
WOMEN’S rights groups are demanding action at the highest levels after a recent acid attack in Mon State. A 23-year old woman, who has not been named, was attacked by her ex-boyfriend with a corrosive substance on May 22. “Her eyes, ears and face were deformed along with the right side of her body,” Daw Nan Htwe, program coordinator at Akhaya Women Myanmar, told The Myanmar Times. “And her neck, shoulder, chest and hands were [also] severely burned.”
In response, Akhaya Women Myanmar, the Karen Women’s Empowerment Group and the Myanmar Positive Women Network organised an awareness event about the case in Yangon on August 19.
The brutal reality of the attack was laid bare in the form of public discussion and a dramatisation. “This survivor now faces many ongoing challenges,” Daw Nan Htwe said. “She needs advanced medical treatment, is unable to work, faces the psychological trauma of her changed appearance, is reluctant to even appear in public and has had no financial support.”
The women’s rights groups called on the Union government to immediately pass legislation that helps prevent violence against women and urged for police to be better trained in addressing domestic violence. “We must change the prevalent view that domestic violence is merely an internal family matter in Myanmar,” said Daw Htar Htar, the director of Akhaya Women Myanmar. “Women need support and protection from the wider community against any violence they are subjected to.”
The groups also stressed the importance of a cultural shift in Myanmar around domestic violence – such as teaching young boys that even the smallest act of violence against a girl is unacceptable.
The perpetrator in this case has been charged but not yet tried. Donations to the survivor can be made through Akhaya Women Myanmar at firstname.lastname@example.org or 09786371055.
Actors dramatise the Mon State acid attack.