I welcome the announcement by Amber Rudd. It is somewhat reassuring to see the government acknowledge the true extent of the devastation and pain acid attacks inflict on its victims and their families, both psychologically and physically. Because of this, and the sheer fear and life-changing injuries acid can cause, I do hope this is the start of much more being done to prevent these attacks, punish the perpetrators and support the victims. I request the government and the Home Secretary to implement further reforms and provide more support for victims so hopefully other countries will look to the UK when it comes to dealing with acid attacks.
The proposals to ban carrying acid in public without ‘good reason’ are encouraging, and I hope these verbal remarks can be acted upon swiftly to become legislation. This hand in hand with Amber Rudds decision to ‘drastically limit the public sale of sulphuric acid’ reassures me that this issue is being tackled. Banning the sale of acid to those under the age of 18 might be something we all at one time imagined was already in place but to its surprise, it wasn’t. Deregulation can and is having negative effects on society and we must ensure that there is sufficient regulation when it comes to dealing with acid attacks.
I am proud of the growing change.org petition that gained support from over half a million people. It goes to show we are stronger when we work together. There is such strength and power that comes from a world that sees an opportunity to help and does just that. I would also like to thank the Acid Survivors Trust International and Katie Piper for their additions to the campaign and support.
I hope the continued coverage, the constant awareness and the seriousness of such horrific crimes are noted by all and that we continue to play our part in society to end such repugnant practices. We cannot let the issue of acid attacks be forgotten and we will continue to push the government, local councils, local representatives and other influential members of the society to use their influence in tackling this Victorian-era practice.
I will never forget the life changing events of my 21st birthday. Every unfortunate victim of acid attacks will always reflect on such traumatic experiences. I started this to make a change, and I continued because people of all ages were confiding in me. It is unacceptable in this day and age to be fearful of such attacks and I hope the people of the U.K don’t live their lives in fear. We want to be free. We want to walk freely on the streets without the threat of someone spraying acid or any other harmful corrosive substances.
The UK is often at the top of list when it comes to research, technology and universities. Let’s make sure that when it comes to tackling problems like acid, we are also on top and for that, we need strong leadership from the government and the Home Office. This announcement is welcome, reassuring and a step in the right direction but I am also hopeful that there will be more to follow in ensuring these attacks are gone, once and for all.