United Nations: UN Rapporteur Releases Statement on Acid Attacks as a Form of Torture
Thursday, September 23, 2010 3:20 PM

The Special Rapporteur on Torture to the United Nations (UN), Manfred Nowak, has recently released a statement in which he identifies acid burning attacks as part of the broader category of violence against women, and also as a form of torture. Nowak articulated that gender-based violence qualifies as a form of torture because it is always discriminatory and often involves various degrees of powerlessness on the part of the victim. The language of the Convention against Torture explicitly extends the states’ responsibilities to torture occurring in the private sphere.

Women who are victims of acid throwing often suffer such attacks at the hands of husbands and ex-husbands. They regularly experience depression or anxiety as a result, and many suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder similar to victims of state torture. Studies have shown that identifying acid attacks as a type of torture reduces some of the stigma experienced by victims of intimate partner violence.

Compiled from: Acid Burning Attacks - Victimization, Survivors, Support, WUNRN.com (15 September 2010).