Majority of burn victims are women, domestic violence disguised as accidents -Study

Hyderabad: A Round Table on Burn Survivors was organised by the International Foundation for Crime Prevention and Victim Care (PCVC) on Thursday where women burn survivors shared their experience. PCVC, a Chennai-based non-profit organisation is backed by the British Deputy High Commission, Chennai. Sharing her experiences on the occasion, Pushpa (34) narrated that she underwent 10 surgeries to reconstruct her face and neck after she suffered extensive burns while cooking at home. She suffered emotional trauma by her own brothers. She suffered burns in 1997 when she was 16 years old and today she ekes out living through tailoring and supports her old parents.

Prasanna Gettu, CEO, PCVC, mentions different forms of burn accidents. She said although some women set themselves ablaze on an impulse in a fit of rage, most of the burn cases were the result of domestic violence. Citing a study conducted by them in Chennai Kilpauk Hospital, she said of 100 to 150 women who come to the burns ward, 90 % of them are the victims of domestic violence.

She observed many of them refuse to blame their spouses or family members thinking about their children.

A national study initiated by the deputy British High Commissioner in Chennai revealed that the number of women who succumb to burn injuries across Hyderabad and adjoining districts is 60% more than men. The study says that a majority of burns cases are registered as ‘accidents’ in police records though the doctors are aware that it is an attempt at suicide or there is a homicide angle to the case.