Letter & Petition – The Campaign

Click here to see the petition

The letter:

Letter detailing the proposals to prevent the easy access of, unnecessary possession and use of corrosive substances as a weapon.

This letter requests; a statement from the Metropolitan police to condemn attacks involving corrosive substances, for retailers to tighten regulations in regards to the sale of corrosive substances, considerations of stricter punishment for those that use corrosive substances as a weapon, for the possession of corrosive substances without good reason to be a criminal offence and for the introduction of a licensing program to prohibit access of harsher corrosive substances to individuals without undergoing stricter controls.

  • • Supported by Change.org petition “Prohibit the purchase of Acid to those without a license” with 361,875 signature (correct of 10/07/2017)
  • • From Resham Khan, Sarmad Ismail and Saqlain Choudry

To, every individual that stands for a better tomorrow

Although I will send this letter directly to numerous members of parliament and retailers of corrosive substances, I also extend this letter to the public. To every individual that has expressed their support of the petition to prohibit and license the sale of acid, to each person that took an interest in my story, and to every person that condemns corrosive substances being used as a weapon.

I invite you all in once again to reflect upon my 21st birthday. A milestone age for many reasons, we must remember that any opportunity to mark or celebrate the occasion was stolen from me. Stolen in one of the most painfully scarring ways I could ever imagine. My plans are in pieces; my pain is unbearable, and I write this letter in hospital whilst I patiently wait for the return of my face. I needed a way to come to terms with the attack, a way to tell the world about what had happened to me so I could avoid the looks of surprise, shock and pity. In the spare of the moment, I began to type the Twitter thread that would go viral. I wanted to express the attack in my own words, no one was going to describe my attack, my story, but me. The power of social media came into effect, and soon enough the mainstream media picked up the story. I never would have believed how much of a conversation the attack generated, or the amount of support extended to me and my family from people all around the world. With conversation came questions. Why did this attack happen? What led to the event? But more importantly: Why is acid, or corrosive substances, so easy to obtain and be used as a weapon?

Currently, I have two main priorities: to make a full recovery and to make sure no one ever goes through the living nightmare I have endured. Since the attack and the vast media coverage, the disturbing rise of attacks using corrosive substances as a weapon has been brought to the public’s attention. In London, the number of incidents involving corrosive substances has rose from 186 between 2014 and 2015 to 397 in 2016 and 2017. Street gangs are now using these life-changing substances instead of guns and knives. Why are acids the new street weapon? Because corrosive substances are readily available in-store and online for as little as £6.50 and the laws surrounding possession is loose.

I cannot sit back whilst others remain indoors in fear of this happening to them. This problem needs to be eliminated. I refuse to allow the country I grew up in to simply get used to corrosive substance attacks. The fear is real. The crime is real. And I propose that action be taken now:

  1. 1. The Metropolitan Police play a vital role in shaping the approach individuals take towards atrocious acts. As they still haven’t, we humbly ask the force to; provide the public with a sincere statement condemning corrosive substance attacks, providing the United Kingdom with reassurance that they are determined to stamp out this vile act. By declaring a zero-tolerance stance, this will deter criminals and send out a clear message to the citizens of this country – that they are safe and protected. There is no place in any society for corrosive substance attacks, so let’s send have those that protect us remind the country.
  2. 2. From the easy, cheap instore sale of these substances in its many forms, to the ease of online sales to anyone with debit card details, we ask on retailers to act more responsibly in regards to corrosive substances. We are hopeful retailers consider making regulation changes and to the rules surrounding the sales of corrosive substances. By recognizing and acting on the influence retailers have on the accessibility of getting corrosive substances on the street, we hope retailers contribute in helping to create a safer society.
  3. 3. Although attacks don’t last for long, all the victims of corrosive substance attacks are left with a life time of physical and psychological pain and scarring. Whilst in hospital I have learnt that it is not just the burn or the scar, its everything else; preparing to face the world again feeling like a different person, all the time spent in fear of and in pain due to procedures, spending hours questioning how and if the world will accept you, and wondering why any human being would do this to another human being. The person that attacked me didn’t want to just take away my face, he wanted to burn all aspects of my life. For this, I ask that the UK government introduce stricter punishment for those that choose to scorch innocent people.
  4. 4. In regards to corrosive substances themselves, knowing the correct way to approach the problem has proved challenging. We ask for the possession of corrosive substances without good reason to become a punishable offense and that legislation on the possession of an offensive weapon be updated to include certain concentrations of corrosive substances, and that advice and guidance is provided to prosecutors so that is effectively recognised this as a serious offence.
  5. 5. Additionally, we propose the UK government impose licensing regulations for the buying of corrosive substances. Depending on the concentration levels of the corrosive substance, the harsher products should only be sold to those that possess a license. Combined with stronger controls, we are confident this will prevent corrosive substances from falling into the wrong hands, whilst still allowing for lower concentration levels to be sold by retailers acting responsibly.

I am writing this letter with hope. I am hopeful the UK government, retailers and the public will stand by me and other victims against corrosive substances being used as weapons. I’m 21 now campaigning for change, but I spent my birthday in hospital. I can’t dwell on the past but what I can do is help build a better future, one without attacks like these.

Thank you for taking the time to reflect on my birthday, and I hope you consider our proposals.

Kindest regards,

Resham Khan



45 thoughts on “Letter & Petition – The Campaign

  1. I read this with teary eyes and felt the pain of what you’ve endured. Acid attacks are life changing injuries, you won’t get your face back and have to live with a new face for the rest of your life! It’s quite disturbing how easy it is to destroy one’s life; you go to a hardware shop buy the liquid and squirt it on one’s face, it doesn’t even cost a tenner!

    I wish you a speedy recovery, Resham x

      1. Hi Resham,
        As a woman living with facial disfigurement, I can only say how much I admire your courage and altruism in turning a horrific and traumatic experience into something positive.
        My disfigurement is caused by a random genetic mutation but yours being caused by the malicious actions of another human must be extremely hard to come to terms with.
        All best wishes for your recovery and moving forward.

  2. Reham,

    I’m a follower in twitter since your thread went vital, and since then you have my support, but following the letter above, you have heart, as tears have flowed.

    In hope to that what you want will come to be, as looking on your twitter feed, MPs have your support. The above is so well written and well argued, I’m proud you’re someone who I’m getting to know, even following some thing so horrendous. ‘m sorry that such a milestone has been taken from you. But you will get through this, just as Katie Piper did, although will take time, as it did with her. And by the way, please Contact her.

    You are an inspiration, never forget that, all I ask apart from getting your beautiful face back is, less of the violent narratives from others, but most of all, please continue with all your dreams as planned, or your attacker and those like him will win.

    Will look forward to your blog, or tweets, please take care.

    Love David (storm_Layne)

    1. Thank you for the kind message. I’m glad you liked the letter! I was uncertain how people would react towards it. We are very hopeful that the law will be changed. Thank you for staying up to date with me, I appreciate it x

  3. I just looked at my news story here in the United States.
    Not only am I shocked at such a violant attack of tossing acid onto 2 innocent victims.
    Acid attacks along with any other attack on humans is a extreme act of violence.
    When you find this man I really hope you keep him locked up for life.
    He apparently does not value his life nor others.
    Resham Khan and the other innocent gentelmen in the car now face a completely different future.
    I know both these people will now continue to fight against violance.
    Please listen to not only Resham’s words but the other people around the world who highly hold the law to follow the steps in locking this man away for good.
    He is of no use to the human race.

  4. Hi Resham, this is a well written letter, explaining all the key points very clearly. I wish you all the best and hope it gets the attention from the authorities that it deserves. They need to take your points on board before anyone else suffers the same trauma you’re going through. Xx

  5. Hi Resham,

    I think this is a fantastic letter and I am hoping and praying that this gets through. Your story has made such an affect on me and ever since the attack I have woken up everyday thinking about you.

    Acid attacks are a cause that I feel so strongly about, I used to volunteer at ASTI (Acid survivors trust international), they are a charity based in East London who work solely for acid survivors and to get the law changed etc. I would really recommend getting in touch with them as perhaps they could help you with your case. The main person who works there is called Jaf Shah and I think you would benefit from getting to know them if you wish to.

    I know a lot of people have probably said this, but I really, truly admire your dignity, kindness, maturity and determination in what has to be one of the most sinister crimes. I know this must be affecting you in so many ways, but I know you will get through this and become a stronger, wiser, more well rounded woman.

    If you have any tips as to how I can help as an individual in moving this forward please do let me know as I really want to help to get the law changed so these attacks stop happening.

    I am praying for you everyday – Inshallah things will all get easier and better.

    Love from Saima x

    1. Thank you! I have heard of ASTI, I think someone helping with the campaign has mentioned Jaf but I’ve been a bit distance this weekend but I’ll get onto it soon. Thank you once again for all the kind words and support. I hope that the law does get changed too, keep your eyes peeled x

  6. I really admire you. You have responded to this vile act with determination when many would be utterly paralysed by the trauma you are still going through.

    Just don’t burn yourself out! 🙂

    1. Thank you! Please keep an eye out for acid attacks in the news and follow how our government is reacting to them! You’re right, most of the time I do need to take a break and relax. Thank you for the comment😀

  7. First I wish you and your cousin speedy recovery. Secondly I hope your suffering and this petition does not end in vain and the laws are changed to make sure no one goes through this ever again. Sadly acid attacks in UK are becoming norm. The law needs to be very strict just like you mentioned. And I certainly hope the tattooed thug who did this to you goes in for 10 years minimum.

    1. Thank you, and please just follow the campaign any way you can. Hopefully we stop these attacks in their tracks before even more people are harmed. Thank you

  8. Take care and don’t worry you will recover soon for God will hear our prayers. God bless you. Get well soon dear. Lots of love.

  9. Hello Resham,

    It is very sad to be attacked in anycase. The use of acid must be allowed only to the people who have the need for it. Otherwise it must be banned and i dont know what the hek this person trying to do, harming innocent people without any idea how much damage it has brought to your life. I hope this guy rotes in jail for life and wish you both a very swift recovery.

  10. I hope that you will remain courageous and strong Resham in the face of this appalling attack on you and your cousin. In my opinion, the term ” grievous bodily harm” is inadequate – too vague and insubstantial for the mental and physical damage inflicted by the use of acid. The perpetrators need to be punished most severely.
    Please add my name to your petition.

    1. Thank you for the kind words. Hopefully with the campaign to toughen the approach to such crimes they can hopefully become a thing of the past! To sign the petition please click the link at the top of the post! (I can’t do it for you) thanks so much!

  11. The government needs to fast track a law giving acid attackers a 20 year minimum sentence and these attacks will cease immediately.

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