Youmanity

Celebrating Sheroe’s Cafe

Sheroes Hangout is a cafe’ in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India, helps acid attack victims fight back social stigma attached to this tragic social inequality. In his winning shot for the Friend-Ship Photography Award, Debdatta Chakraborty, portrays two friends who survived heinous chemical burns. Dolly and Bala have become an important symbol of women ‘fighters' who walk, proudly, with scars. 

 

Apart from welcoming victims, Sheroes Cafe challenges stereotypical concepts of beauty and the importance society attaches to superficial appearance, fashion and fashionistas. Sheroes café has also become a unique meeting place for victims who would have lost all hope because of scars - some are horrific.

 

According to an Evening Standard report (28/08/2090), in London acid attacks have soared to record levels, with some of those injured under the age of 10. New statistics from the Metropolitan Police reveal that the number of violent corrosive ‘liquid offences’ surged from 66 in 2012 to 752 in 2018. They also show an incredibly sharp rise in attacks in recent years: 616 recorded in 2017, 461 in 2016, 348 in 2015, 178 in 2014 and 159 in 2013.

 

In an interview with the Standard, Dr Simon Harding - associate professor in Criminology at the University of West London - explains how London may have become the acid attack hotspot of the western world. Criminals have turned to acid because it is cheap, goes through scanners and terrifies people. In Asia acid attacks are mainly directed to women as a way to humiliate them following a rejection to a proposal of marriage. or a romantic advance.

 

What is abundantly clear is that regardless of where in the world such offences are happening, there are huge inequalities in our society. Gender inequality and women's position in modern society makes them particularly vulnerable. Youmanity applauds Sheroe’s Cafe for their work fighting gender discrimination and social inclusion 

 

If you have been touched by the subject you may wish to reach out to the following charities:

 

Katie Piper Foundation

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