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Acid Survivors Foundation

ASF was formed in 1999 with the growing concern of the rising trend of acid violence in Bangladesh. Acid violence is a form of gender based violence that reflects and perpetuates the inequality of women in society. Gender based violence is a common scenario in Bangladesh. This form of violence cuts across cultural and religious barriers and impede on women's right to fully participate in society. It has the effect of denying women important rights such as economic well being, social well being, political participation, personal fulfillment and self worth. Fear, anxiety, fatigue, post traumatic stress disorder, sleeping and eating disturbances are some of the psychological effects of acid violence. Many victims suffer from complete mental breakdown including identity crisis because of their lost and distorted appearance. Most stop their education or work during the length recovery period or beyond, due to disfigurement. Some survivors and their families face huge economic losses because of the time and money spent on treatment and lengthy legal proceedings.

Survivors often face social isolation which further damage their self esteem and socioeconomic status. These prevent many female acid victims from living independent lives resulting in a situation of vulnerability and dependency. In this scenario, women's potential remains unrealized and their contribution that could be directed to the betterment of society is underutilized.

ASF was formed with a vision to reduce and eventually eliminate acid attacks in Bangladesh and ensure that acid survivors are able to live with dignity. Since its formation, ASF has emerged as a global pioneer in combating gender based violence in the form of acid attacks. ASF has been working towards this vision by providing holistic burn care services. ASF runs a 20-bed hospital fully equipped to provide standard burn care services including plastic and reconstructive surgery in a low resource set up. ASF's hospital provides comprehensive services including psychological care, legal assistance and financial support for economic rehabilitation. ASF engages government and civil society to take an active role to ensure that survivor's rights are met by advocating at the national level for policy changes and at the local level to bring about changes in process and practice. ASF runs national and local prevention campaigns to raise awareness on the legal and social consequences of acid attacks and disseminate relevant information on what to do and where to go for help if an attack occurs.

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