Acid victim Katie Piper calls for tougher action
14 July 2017 National News
Acid attack victim Katie Piper has demanded a clampdown on corrosive substances to “prevent more lives being destroyed”.
The TV presenter and model penned an open letter to urge Government action on the sale of acid and the introduction of tougher punishments to deter would-be offenders.
Ms Piper, 33, described how victims of acid attacks are handed a “life sentence” through the trauma of their ordeal.
She published her plea for increased legislation in the wake of , believed to be linked, which took place within 90 minutes of each other in north and east London on Thursday night.
It comes just a few weeks after aspiring model in east London were attacked while celebrating her 21st birthday.
There was another acid attack in east London on Easter Monday, leaving two people at a nightclub partially blinded and others injured.
The UK has one of the highest rates of acid attacks in the world, with the crimes feared to be on the rise.
Ms Piper was left partially blind and with severe, permanent scarring when a former boyfriend arranged for acid to be thrown in her face in 2008.
Writing in the Scars, Burns and Healing journal, Ms Piper described how she has undergone 250 operations and hours of psychological therapy following the assault, which left her contemplating suicide.
She wrote: “I will continue to need operations and therapy for life. For acid attack survivors, the aftermath is a life sentence.”
Urging the Government to impose harsher penalties on attackers who use corrosive substances, Ms Piper said: “Lives can be destroyed in moments.
“Survivors of such attacks often have to live with the immediate fear that their attackers may still be at large, and in the longer term – even if the attackers are caught and sentenced – may be released to potentially live alongside them after serving a minimum term.
“I meet many inspiring individuals who have worked hard to rebuild their lives after an attack; however, it can be hard to stay motivated when the justice system does not always reflect the severity of these crimes.”
Ms Piper, who has set up a charity to help adults who suffer burns from any cause, said current UK law and sentencing does not reflect the severity of acid attacks.
She claimed is is “all too easy for someone to buy a corrosive substance and throw it… at another person”.
Calling on authorities to “prevent more lives being destroyed”, Ms Piper said: “Tougher sentencing would surely act as a deterrent to further attacks.
“The issue of penalties for carrying corrosive substances needs to be addressed and restrictions on the sale of corrosive substances need to be looked at seriously.”