I previously wrote about acid attacks in Pakistan where women are disfigured or lose their lives over any reason a husband deems necessary. According to a BBC report, more than a hundred and fifty women a year become a subject of acid attacks from their husbands and in laws. Even a Pakistani documentary brought this hideous crime to the public. Yet, acid attacks are on the rise in Pakistan even though tougher penalties are imposed upon the offenders.
Shama a young Pakistani woman had been totally disfigured with 15 percent burns to body. Her crime according to her attacker (her husband) was that she took too much pride in her beauty. Closer to home we find that acid attacks are on the rise in Columbia, South America.
“While the gruesome assaults have been rare in the West, a rising number of attacks in Colombia have alarmed prosecutors and public health officials and terrified women. Dozens of such attacks, in which assailants soak their victims with sulfuric or nitric acids, are believed to take place here each year… If a woman is attacked over a dowry in India or because she ventured outside without a veil in Pakistan, in Colombia a woman might be attacked because of sheer rage over her independence or even by a disturbed man she doesn’t know.”
Acid attacks on women are common in the east but who would think it would happen in Canada? Tanya arnault was a victim of an acid attack committed by her boyfriend. Back in August her mother reported “Tanya St-Arnauld, 29, of Longueuil, is still unable to move much and is “like an infant,” requiring help with nearly everything to overcome her ongoing incapacitation.” The boyfriend threw “a corrosive fluid, possibly a drain or concrete cleaning agent” on her during one of their many arguments. She was in a coma for four days.
The brother of Tanya said, “She was suffering, she was yelling,” “They saw her skin literally melt off.”
“She’ll have to wear a burn suit, a mask, do a lot of rehabilitation with a machine because she’s no longer able to bend her arm. Her skin will have to be sanded down because the burns caused bumps.”
Tanya’s close friend and comedian Melanie Couture organized a fundraiser for her on Nov 28. “Wednesday night at the Theatre de la Ville Longueuil. It wasn’t about remembering the tragedy – it was to celebrate St-Arnaud’s courage.”
The community responded with open arms. Tanya said, “Not only am I alive, but everyone is there to support me, give me some love – and that makes every hard moment I have to live so much easier.”
Though she cannot use her arm she does walk with difficulty; she is lucky she is alive.