Social Stigma & Acid Burns


If I tell a curious stranger that I obtained my burns in a house fire they usually nod with concern and say, “Oh, I’m so sorry.”

If I tell a curious stranger that my burns were the result of a fiery car accident they usually gasp and express their concern with a kind, “My goodness, that’s terrible.”

But if I tell a curious stranger that I was assaulted with acid they usually respond with, “But why?”

There is stigma attached to my assault. I’m sure it’s unconscious and unintentional, but when a person asks, “But why?” They’re really asking me what I did to cause something like that to happen. And in doing so it places the blame on me.

No, I did not do anything to cause another person to do something so horrific and violent.

Instead, one should ask, “What happened to the person who assaulted you? What went wrong in the their life to cause them to do such a horrible thing to another person?”

Food for thought. The stigma stings almost as badly as the burn.