I travelled to Kolkata in India to photograph and spend time with people who have had their lives destroyed through acid violence. This abhorrent act disfigures for life, causes untold pain and leaves the survivors to be cast out from society – almost always living a life in seclusion and constantly at risk of further violence.
Many people have heard of acid violence in one form or another but never understand the ferocity behind the act. For some attacks it is a mindless moment of throwing acid in someones face and for others it’s far more methodical and torturous with victims being pinned down and forced to drink acid by their attacker destroying their inside.
Each of these survivors stories was incredibly difficult to hear, the level of brutality was unlike anything I had come across in all my travels. The bravery and defiance they have shown by coming forward and allowing themselves to be photographed is awe inspiring.
In almost all of these cases the perpetrator was not only known to the survivor but was quite often a ‘loved one’ in a position of trust, that is what makes these stories so heart breaking.
To learn more about the charity in the UK helping the survivors please visit www.asti.org.uk