A young woman who suffered a horrific acid attack three months ago received pledges of support today at a gathering in Rangoon that brought together women’s rights activists, nuns, NGO workers and others fighting against gender-based violence in Burma.
On 22 May, a 23-year-old student from Thanbyuzayat Township in Mon State was attacked by her boyfriend, who threw acid in her face, deforming her eye, ear and cheek, and causing serious burns to her throat, shoulder, chest and hands.
“Now we are supporting her medical treatment costs and the costs to hire a lawyer to fight for justice,” said Htwe Htwe Myint of the Myanmar Positive Women Network Initiative (MPWNI), one of the organisers of the day’s open dialogue on the prevention of violence against women.
Under the theme, “No acid attack in Myanmar,” MPWNI, Akhaya Women and the Karen Women’s Empowerment Group invited participants in the event and members of the public to make donations to help assist the acid-attack survivor as she works to rebuild her life.
The woman, who was not identified by name, received emergency treatment at Rangoon General Hospital soon after the attack, and is currently undergoing more extensive treatment in Bangkok. Members of her family attended today’s event on her behalf.
A 20-year-old student from Rangoon University who attended the dialogue voiced her support for the woman: “It’s a sad story and if it had happened in our community, I would feel insecure and hurt. So I came here to show my support for the woman and to get knowledge about the prevention of violence against women.”
The acid-attack victim is still waiting for her attacker to be sentenced, but has no independent means of financial support to cover either her treatment or her legal costs. She was due to graduate from university at the end of this year.