Cambodia Acid Violence Initiative

Acid violence is a form of gender violence in which cheap, available acid is used as a weapon for settling interpersonal disputes and destroying victims’ lives. Since 2004, Dr. Ebby Elahi has led medical teams to train local surgeons and provide care to victims.

The plight of one Cambodian woman-survivor, Yem, and her child, Sophorn, the youngest documented survivor of acid violence, inspired us to produce an awareness-raising documentary, Stolen Faces. Narrated by Liev Schreiber, the film chronicles the medical team’s activities in Cambodia and was screened at the United Nations High-Level Segment of ECOSOC in 2005. In 2011, their story was featured at the Women in the World Summit on a panel entitled “Stealing Beauty: An Acid Violence Survivor’s Story.”

In 2011, we conducted a comparative analysis of acid violence and access to justice and released the report entitled Combating Acid Violence in Bangladesh, India, and Cambodia. This analysis greatly influenced substantive changes relating to acid violence in Cambodia on a national level.

Future initiatives include hosting a multi-disciplinary conference on combating acid violence and providing program support to prevent acid violence globally.

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