MARIAM MOKHTAR, Ipoh
I RECOIL in horror at the mutilation of a police constable and his girlfriend by his ex-wife ("Wife splashes acid on cheating hubby" -- NST, Aug 18).
Sadly, thousands of women in South Asia, particularly Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Cambodia, have suffered the same fate.
Most of the victims are injured in violent attacks involving acid which has become a way of getting even.
The attacks are a male backlash against modern women who have become socially and financially independent.
It has also been documented that the attacks are a common form of revenge by men who have been jilted, spurned or who are involved in a dispute.
It is an evil act whether it is done by a man or woman. The perpetrator may not want to kill the victim but in some perverse way wants to do something that will make the victim suffer for the rest of his or her life.
Acid eats away flesh and even bones. It causes terrible pain and shock. It also induces terror. Victims are inflicted for the rest of their lives with permanent disabilities such as blindness and disfigurement.
Survivors face social isolation and rejection. Few survivors can afford reconstructive surgery. None can fully recover from the horrible ordeal and for many, it is a fate worse than death.
Unmarried women who are victims may never marry. The social stigma, loss of self-esteem and economic rejection is enough to break anybody's will and spirit.
It is a tragedy for the policeman and his girlfriend to have suffered this fate. But what is worse is that his ex-wife is the saddest and most tragic figure of this crime.