Regulate acid sales to prevent attacks, Dagenham victim urges
- Credit: Archant
Acid attack victim Naomi Oni has supported calls for the sale of corrosive substances to be regulated.
Naomi, 22, was left with permanent scarring to her face and chest after she was doused in sulphuric acid while walking near her Dagenham home.
Acid Survivors Trust International (ASTI) has suggested that people should have to pay by credit card for substances containing high levels of sulphuric acid, claiming that cleaning agents which cause serious injury are currently “far too available”.
“It should definitely be regulated,” Naomi told the Post. “Details should be taken like what it is going to be used for.
“It’s shocking that people can still get hold of it so easily.”
Naomi’s childhood friend Mary Konye, also 22, of Throckmorton Road, Canning Town, is currently serving a 12-year sentence for the attack, which took place in Lodge Avenue in December 2011.
Naomi, who has since moved away from the area, says she would welcome the introduction of licences for strong acid, similar to the system used for gun control.
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“I think it needs to be that strict,” she added. “What are normal people doing with industrial-strength cleaning products?
“It’s terrible that things haven’t changed.
“People affected by it are going to have to deal with it for the rest of their lives.”
The number of people hospitalised as a result of corrosive substances has almost doubled in the past 10 years, according to figures released this month.
The Health and Social Care Information Centre reported that there were 106 hospital admissions in 2013-14 as a result of assaults with corrosive substances, compared to 55 in 2004-05.
And despite the increase in attacks, Naomi insists that not enough is being done to help victims.
“I don’t know what there is for people like me,” she said.
“There should be more support groups to help them move on with their lives.
“Everything is very different. You have to learn everything for yourself. You just don’t know what to do at first.”