Wednesday, March 19, 2014

"Stop Acid Attacks!"

"Stop Acid Attacks!"

One year ago, a campaign with this name came together in India to address a common problem. Over 136 acid attacks had occurred in that year, affecting children, men and even animals. In some cases, people and animals died as a result of these attacks; in others, the survivors bore visible signs of the violent, horrifying attacks they had endured. Determined to put a stop to this violence, Stop Acid Attacks was born.

Stop Acid Attacks is comprised of individuals from all walks of life who are passionate about this issue, including on the most prominent activists against acid attacks in India, a young woman named Laxmi.

Attacked nine years ago by a scorned suitor when she was just a teenager, Laxmi has dedicated her life to supporting others who have endured attacks and advocating for justice for survivors. Just last week, she was honored by US First Lady Michelle Obama with the prestigious International Woman of Courage Award.

Laxmi, 23 years old, refuses to be defined as a victim or to be pitied, but she doesn't hide from the physical and emotional challenges that she and many other survivors of acid attacks face. Soon after receiving her award, she shared this poem in her native Hindi revealing her initial thoughts about her experience:

"You haven't thrown acid on my face; you threw it on my dreams. You didn't have love in your heart; you had acid in it."

Read more at: http://www.stopacidattacks.org/