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Acid throwing, also called an acid attack, a vitriol attack or vitriolage, is a form of violent assault defined as the act of throwing acid or a similarly corrosive substance onto the body of another "with the intention to disfigure, maim, torture, or kill". Perpetrators of these attacks throw corrosive liquids at their victims, usually at their faces, burning them, and damaging skin tissue, often exposing and sometimes dissolving the bones.
The long term consequences of these attacks may include blindness, as well as permanent scarring of the face and body, along with far-reaching social, psychological, and economic difficulties.
Today, acid attacks are reported in many parts of the world. Since the 1990s, Bangladesh has been reporting the highest number of attacks and highest incidence rates for women, with 3,512 Bangladeshi people acid attacked between 1999 and 2013, and in Pakistan and India acid attacks are at an all-time high and increasing every year. Although acid attacks occur all over the world, this type of violence is most common in South Asia. The UK has one of the highest rates of acid attacks per capita in the world, according to Acid Survivors Trust International (ASTI). In 2016 there were over 601 acid attacks in the UK based on ASTI figures. Over 1,200 cases were recorded over the past 5 years. From 2011-2016 there were 1,464 crimes involving acid or corrosive substance in London alone.