In India, it’s estimated that around 1,000 acid attacks take place every year, the vast majority of victims being female.
You read that right: Every single day in India, a woman or girl has acid thrown in her face and is disfigured for life. The Acid Survivors Trust International (ASTI) says that about 1,500 people around the world become victims of what is called ‘acid violence’ each year.
The statistics aren’t just meaningless numbers. Each one is a personal story of survival, trauma, and triumph. Take, for instance, this 18-year-old Mumbai girl named Reshma. The organization Make Love Not Scars produced the video of Reshma applying the “perfect red lip” as a way to draw attention to their campaign to ban the sale of disfiguring acid.
“You’ll find a red lipstick easily in the market, just like concentrated acid,” says Reshma in the subtitled video. “This is the reason why every day a girl becomes a victim of an acid attack.”
ASTI explains that acid attacks are generally considered gender-based violence, as the girl or woman is often hurt because she “spurned sexual advances or rejected a marriage proposal.”
Make Love Not Scars is petitioning the Prime Minister of India to ban the sale of concentrated acid on the market. As of Friday morning, the petition had received 66,213 signatures.
Screengrab via Make Love Not Scars/YouTube