Amid moves to curb acid attacks in the UK, ActionAid’s Danielle Spencer explains how the organisation is helping women targeted in Bangladesh
The UK’s new voluntary code for retailers not to sell under-18s products corrosive enough for use in an acid attack (Report, theguardian.com, 7 January) is an encouraging preparatory step towards legislation. ActionAid works with women who have survived acid attacks in Bangladesh, and we know that for legislation to stop attacks it must be supported by change to the patriarchal attitudes inspiring them.
In 2002, the Bangladeshi government restricted the import and sale of acid in open markets, setting up special courts to deal with cases. ActionAid’s work contributed significantly to this, but the laws took years to reduce attacks.