Lived experiences of acid survivors
Sserwadda, Andrew Patrick
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Introduction: This study examined the lived experiences of acid survivors: a case study of End Acid Violence Uganda. It had four specific research objectives :(i)to deepen understanding on the life of acid survivors before the traumatic event.(ii) to describe the life of acid survivors after the traumatic event.(iii) to identify existing support systems for acid survivors.(iv) to examine the role of the support systems in shaping the lives of acid survivors. Methodology: The study adopted a cross sectional design using qualitative methods which included in-depth interviews, key informant interviews document review and observations. Data was analyzed thematically guided by study objectives. Findings: First of all the study findings revealed that the life of acid survivors before the traumatic event was progressive as many were working, happily married, respected in society and physically health. However this changed after the attack. After the traumatic event, the lives of survivors are negatively impacted causing hardships on the families/spouses that care for them and isolated by the society leading to psychological torture, emotional distress and physical disfigurement. Identified existing support systems he survivors themselves, family, non-governmentalorganisations and government. Study findings revealed the diverserole of the support systems in shaping the lives of acid survivors which included; providing psychological support through counseling, vocational skills training, doing public awareness campaigns, access to justice and economic support. Recommendations: To eradicate acid violence, its root causes must be addressed and these include: gender inequality and discrimination, the availability of acid, and the impunity of perpetrators. Victims should be compensated from funds generated through fines.Physical rehabilitation and medical care services for survivors of acid and burns violence should be improved. Lastly the mental health care system should be strengthened to help prevent and deal with the consequences of acid and burns violence.