The Peril of Acid Attacks in India and Susceptibility of Women

DOI10.1177/2516606920927247
Publication Date01 Apr 2020
AuthorShivani Goswami,Rakesh Kumar Handa
SubjectArticles
The Peril of Acid
Attacks in India
and Susceptibility
of Women
Shivani Goswami1 and
Rakesh Kumar Handa1
Abstract
Acid attacks on women have become the most burning area and are considered
to be the most nastiest and the most atrocious kind of violence committed on
weaker sex. It is the thoughtful and pre-mediated use of acid on another human
being for no blunder on her part. Reasons could be easy accessibility of acid,
male-domineering and male-dictating society, antagonism, scorned and disdained
lovers, etc., to name a few. Cases on acid attacks are mounting, swelling and esca-
lating like anything. The perpetrators do not realize the consequences of such
menacing, ominous and looming attacks on innocent victims and throw acids on
them, distorting their face, limbs and different parts of body. It is high time now.
Something stringent needs to be done to curb this evil in our society. Otherwise
it will be too late, and innocent creatures on this earth will continue to suffer for
no fault of theirs. The authors would be dealing with various facades, legal rem-
edies and compensations dealing with acid attacks in the present society.
Keywords
Women, acid attack, susceptibility, legal succour
Introduction
Violence on women has always been a contentious issue. Some say that it is
escalating, while others give credit to the more reporting that is being done.
Undoubtedly, usually throughout the orb, women occupy a very frail and
Article
Journal of Victimology
and Victim Justice
3(1) 72–92, 2020
2020 National Law
Universit y Delhi
Reprints and permissions:
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DOI: 10.1177/2516606920927247
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1 Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, New Delhi, India.
Corresponding author:
Rakesh Kumar Handa, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Sector 16C , Dwarka, New Delhi
110078 India.
E-mail: rakeshhanda_1976@yahoo.co.in
Goswami and Handa 73
portentous status. It has been rightly said that from her cradle to her last breath,
she is subjected to everlasting and ceaseless numbers of violence. It is not only
predominant in developing and underdeveloped countries, but women in
developed countries are also ensnared and entwined in the perils of violence.
Violence in a layman’s language is inflicting physical2 or mental3 or both types
of harm on another person.
According to Encyclopedia of Crime and Justice4 ‘violence is a general term
referring to all types of behaviour either threatened or actual, that result in the
damage or destruction of property or the injury or death of an individual’.
Chambers Dictionary describes violence as
excessive unrestrained or unjustifiable use of force. Violence also means outrage, prof-
anation injury or rape. Infliction of injury on other people is the essence of violence.
It may be either physical or mental. On the legal level, it is the illegal employment of
methods of physical coercion for personal or group ends. The infliction of injury by
police is exercise of state’s force as long as it is legal. But as soon as it crosses the
boundary of legality and inflicts injury for lust or for personal gain, it becomes vio-
lence and is more dangerous than the violence by ill armed and ill organized collective
people.5
According to Black’s Law Dictionary, ‘violence means unjust or unwarranted use
of force usually accompanied by fury, vehemence, or outrage physical force
unlawfully exercised with the intent to harm’.6 Violence can take variety of forms.
It could be in the form of female foeticide,7 prostitution,8 marital rape,9 wife
battering,10 eve-teasing,11 sexual harassment,12 witch hunting,13 etc., to name a
2 Violence resulting in injury to body, limb or health of a person.
3 Conduct which inflicts upon the other party such mental agony, anguish and enduring.
4 4 Sanford H. KadiSH, EncyclopEdia of crimE and JuSticE 1618–1619 (1983).
5 niroJ SinHa, WomEn and ViolEncE 32 (1989).
6 BlacKS laW dictionary 1564 (Bryan A. Garner ed., 7th ed. 1999).
7 Female foeticide is one of the most reprehensible act committed against destitute women. In it,
foetus of a woman is killed inside her womb, if it is a female. The desire to have a male child is one
of the causal factors for killing a female foetus; prevalent in the Indian society where people have
craving for the male child.
8 Prostitution is regarded as one of the oldest profession in India. One of the major causes of it is
poverty. To earn money, women sell their bodies willingly or unwillingly.
9 Marital rape is rape by husband when the marriage is subsisting. Although it appears to be very
weird, but it is very much ubiquitous in our Indian society, and the worst part is that it is still not
recognized as a crime. It is one of the forms responsible for the sufferings of women day and night by
none other than their own husbands.
10 Wife battering is a form of domestic violence where woman is spanked and thrashed by her husband
in this male-domineering society. It is taken nonchalantly and imperturbably by the society at large.
People in general do not intervene considering it to be a private family matter.
11 Eve-teasing is the sexually coloured remarks passed by males to females in a public place to cause
uneasiness and distress. It is one such act which has been taken casually and flippantly by the society,
and women are made to suffer for no fault on their part.
12 Sexual harassment is sexually torturing woman at work place; very widely prevalent. To control
this, Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013
was passed.
13 Witch hunting is considered to be the most obnoxious crime committed against browbeaten and
subjugated women. It is also committed against men, but women are more victims of this horrendous
crime and the appalling part is that it is taken imperturbably by the society at large.

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