Sunday, February 3, 2013

Muslim-Woman Threw Acid at London-Woman’s Face?

Before and after acid-attack photos of Naomi Oni (2012).
Naomi Oni, 20, had finished work at a Victoria's Secret store in east London in December and was only five minutes from home when a woman wearing a niqab threw a chemical substance at her, the London Evening Standard reports.

The store assistant had just got off the bus and was talking to her boyfriend Ato Owede, 23, on her phone when she felt someone walking behind her in Lodge Avenue in Dagenham at around 12.40am.

She said:“I’d been working a late shift and was talking to my boyfriend about what we were going to do for New Year when I saw this Muslim woman wearing a niqab covering her face. I thought it was a bit strange at that time of night, but she didn’t say anything and I kept on walking.

Then I felt a splash on my face. It burned and I screamed out. I started running and screaming, holding my face, all the way home. I didn’t look back.

I got home and I was screaming and banging on the door. I was hysterical. Luckily my godmother, who is a pharmacist, was at home with my mum and she helped me and kept dipping my face in water and trying to calm me down until the police and ambulance got there. I was in shock. Saying: ‘Who would do that? Who would do that?’ How could anyone do this?”

Ms Oni sustained burns to her face, neck, arms, legs and body. She was released from Broomfield Hospital's burns unit last weekend after spending almost a month in specialist care.

She has released images of her shocking injuries in the hope they will help police find her attacker, whose face was unrecognisable under a veil.

Niqab-clad women in-front-of Victoria's Secret.
Ms Oni, who was on the phone to her boyfriend when she was attacked, told the London Evening Standard her life had been destroyed.

"I look in the mirror and it just isn't me. I'll never look the same again. I've always been outgoing and confident in my job and in my personal life, used to getting attention for the way I dress or my hair, but now I don't want anyone looking at me," she said.

"I don't want people to see me in public. I don't want to get the tube or the bus. If I have to go to the hospital I take a taxi. I don't know if I'll ever be able to go back to my job. I was planning to go to college in September to study media and fashion, but I don't even know if I'll be able to do that."

Ms Oni has been left with only partial vision in her right eye and is facing extensive skin grafts and surgeries. With her attacker still at large, she said she no longer felt safe at the council flat she had shared with her mother, and the pair have since moved to a friend's house.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said acid attacks were “extremely rare” and that detectives were keeping an “open mind as to the motive.” Officers from Barking and Dagenham are investigating. No arrests have been made and inquiries are ongoing.

Niqab-clad Muslim women in East London.