Some officials in Colombia want to impose tougher punishments against perpetrators who attack women with acid, as there is a spike in the number of acid attacks against women.
Colombian Sen. Carlos Baena said that people who commit acid attacks will usually spend no time in jail because the attacks are regarded and treated as minor assaults. Baena is now sponsoring a bill that will give convicted attackers at least 20 years in prison, according to UPI.
According to North Jersey, the reason for the spike in acid attacks is not known. However women's rights advocates in Colombia talked about how there is an epidemic of violence against women, which range from spouse-battering cases that are very violent that they make the news to reports if groups who are armed and using rape as a weapon in a rural conflict.
According to NPR, acid attacks have been receiving attention in quite a few Asian countries over the past few years. These countries include India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Cambodia. There have also been acid attacks on women in England, Spain and the United States.
Acid attacks in the west are still rare but they are becoming more common in Colombia. Sources say that in 2011 alone there were around 150 acid attacks.
Eduardo Montealegre, Colombia's attorney general, said that he is currently putting together a team of prosecutors and experts in collecting evidence who will look into the crimes to try to determine whether or not authorities have failed to categorize acid attacks as attempted murders in cases where the attacks could have caused a victim to die.
Montealegre's office is currently investigating 36 acid attacks against women. Montealegre went onto say that authorities do not know the true number of assaults that take place because some cases do not get reported.
Montealegre said that some cases do not get reported because the victim is related to their attacker and they fear of what may happen to them if they file a report.