At around 7:30 pm, January 31, 2024, nine people were injured after a corrosive substance was thrown at them by a man in Clapham. The main victims of this attack were a 31-year-old mother and her two daughters, aged 3 and 8. Many believe this to be an acid attack, which led to potentially life-altering injuries for the mother and her youngest daughter, aged 3.
People in the nearby flats and on-lookers rushed to help, and one witness claims to have seen a man “take a girl out of the car and slam her into the ground twice.” Other witnesses talk about how they helped the woman by bringing water to her face as she was shouting that she couldn’t see.
No one at the scene is said to have sustained life-threatening injuries aside from the mother and youngest daughter who sustained traumatizing injuries. However, three women and a man, who had come to the aid of the family, received minor injuries, and five police officers have also been treated and released from hospital.
It is known that the family had been attacked whilst in their car, and this was an attack between people who knew each other. It was not random. There is now a manhunt for the man whom witnesses saw fleeing the scene. He is yet to be found.
The Metropolitan police confirmed, on February 1, that it was an alkaline substance that was thrown over the mother and two young children in the attack. Alkaline substances are different from acid and include dishwasher powders and drain cleaners.
We have seen a rise in these attacks in recent years, with 74 acid attacks being recorded in 2021, this rose to 107 in 2022 in London, alone. These attacks leave many with psychological scars as well as physical scars and disfigurement.
The charity Acid Survivors Trust International recorded that one attack costs roughly £63,000 in medical support and emotional support for victims, as well as costs to the police and justice system. This was about £6 million in 2022. The charity was set up to educate young people about the risk of acid attacks for both the attacker and victim, and to help victims with psychological trauma.
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