A 35-year-old Indian woman who's been the victim of acid attacks at least four times in the past has just been attacked again, despite having police protection.
BBC reported Sunday that the woman from the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh was getting water from a pump outside of a women-only hostel in Lucknow when an attacker allegedly climbed the wall of the establishment, pouring acid on her.
Despite having “round-the-clock police protection,” the victim was seriously injured and was rushed to the hospital for burn treatments that impacted her face and shoulder.
The woman was first attacked after being sexually assaulted by two men in what was described as a "gang rape" in 2008 over a property dispute. But that wasn't the only time they targeted her, as the 35-year-old was later attacked again by the same two men in 2012 and 2013. In March 2017, the same woman was forced to drink acid while traveling on a train with her daughter. And now, she's under treatment once again for having acid thrown at her from above.
The perpetrators may have continued to attack the woman over the years in order to pressure her to drop all criminal charges against them, Mic reports.
Despite having laws that regulate and restrict the sale of acid in India, officials registered 249 acid attacks in 2015 alone. Still, many such attacks aren't reported.
According to Acid Survivors Foundation India, the real 2015 number is closer to 500. Other advocacy groups, such as Atijeevan Foundation, which helps acid attack survivors rehabilitate, say that it's more likely that up to 1,000 attacks take place yearly instead.
As other similar attacks are reported in other countries, even residents of the United Kingdom have become victims. Perhaps, what's even more concerning than the number of attacks remaining so high is that the majority of victims are women.
If anything, this may indicate that not enough is being done to ensure these women are being protected from this type of violence that disproportionately impacts them.