Kuala Lumpur Post

World

Acid attack survivor fronts fashion book in new awareness

NIVELLES, Belgium/LONDON — Sitting at her home in the Belgian town of Nivelles, acid attack survivor and campaigner Patricia Lefranc flicks through a sleek book of pictures of her shot by British fashion photographer Rankin.

In one, she holds a photo of herself before the devastating 2009 attack by an ex. Others show her in different poses throughout the lookbook, a photo catalogue typically used by fashion brands.

“I have learnt to see myself after (the attack). If I had seen this photo of myself five or six years ago I would have been in tears,” Lefranc said.

“It’s going to sound harsh to say it – but, I’ve learnt (to live with) this ugliness. It’s me.”

Lefranc, 59, features in a new campaign by Rankin and charity Acid Survivors Trust International (ASTi) seeking to raise awareness about the devastating effects of acid violence and the geographical correlation between industry use of corrosives, namely in fashion and textiles, and the frequency of attacks.

“Areas that were impacted by acid violence in countries such as Bangladesh, Cambodia, Pakistan are those areas where there’s a large industrial fashion base,” ASTi executive director Jaf Shah told Reuters.

“The lookbook is an advocacy tool designed to raise awareness and encourage companies to take action to help prevent attacks by introducing stricter controls around corrosive substances that have been weaponised by predominantly men against women.” — Reuters

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