Brave acid attack victim reveals she’s ‘waiting for her face to return’ in heartbreaking open letter

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A brave acid attack victim has made the heartbreaking revelation that she is 'waiting for her face' to return as she penned an emotional open letter.

Resham Khan, who was with her cousin on the night of the harrowing incident, is currently recovering from severe injuries to the skin on her face and shoulder.

Resham Khan and Jameel Muhktar, 37, were attacked as they stopped at traffic lights.

A man threw acid through their car window on Ms Khan's 21st birthday.

John Tomlin, 24, was arrested over the incident in Beckton, east London, on June 21.

Resham has penned a heartbreaking letter
(Image: Daily Mirror)
Resham Khan was attacked as she celebrated her 21st birthday
(Image: Internet Unknown)

In the open letter, Resham writes: "I invite you all in once again to reflect upon my 21st birthday.

"A milestone age for many reasons, we must remember that any opportunity to mark or celebrate the occasion was stolen from me.

"Stolen in one of the most painfully scarring ways I could ever imagine. My plans are in pieces; my pain is unbearable, and I write this letter in hospital whilst I patiently wait for the return of my face."

Both victims suffered horrific face and neck injuries in the attack that took place at 9.13am on Tollgate Road.

Mr Mukhtar has said he feels "emotionally wrecked" and "in continuous pain".

Police said Tomlin has been charged with two counts of GBH with intent, a charge which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Resham Khan was with her cousin Jameel Muhktar when they were sprayed with acid
(Image: Daily Mirror)
Resham Khan was visiting the capital to celebrate her birthday
(Image: Daily Mirror)

Resham added: "Currently, I have two main priorities: to make a full recovery and to make sure no one ever goes through the living nightmare I have endured.

"I cannot sit back whilst others remain indoors in fear of this happening to them. This problem needs to be eliminated. I refuse to allow the country I grew up in to simply get used to corrosive substance attacks. The fear is real. The crime is real."

Resham explains that the number of incidents involved corrosive substances has risen from 186 in 2014 and 2015 to 397 in 2016 and 2017.

She adds: "Street gangs are now using these life-changing substances instead of guns and knives. Why are acids the new street weapon?

Resham's injuries are life changing
(Image: Daily Mirror)
Jameel Muhktar was celebrating his cousin's birthday when he was attacked
(Image: Universal News (Europe))

"Because corrosive substances are readily available in-store and online for as little as £6.50 and the laws surrounding possession is loose."

She then details a five point plan, demanding action from the Metropolitan Police as well as retailers and the UK government when it comes to the selling and buying of corrosive substances, particular addressing the online market.

You can read more about Resham's proposed action plan here .

A petition has also been set up through Change.org to prohibit the purchase of acid to those without a licence .

Resham's letter in full

To, every individual that stands for a better tomorrow

Although I will send this letter directly to numerous members of parliament and retailers of corrosive substances, I also extend this letter to the public. To every individual that has expressed their support of the petition to prohibit and license the sale of acid, to each person that took an interest in my story, and to every person that condemns corrosive substances being used as a weapon.

I invite you all in once again to reflect upon my 21st birthday. A milestone age for many reasons, we must remember that any opportunity to mark or celebrate the occasion was stolen from me. Stolen in one of the most painfully scarring ways I could ever imagine. My plans are in pieces; my pain is unbearable, and I write this letter in hospital whilst I patiently wait for the return of my face.

I needed a way to come to terms with the attack, a way to tell the world about what had happened to me so I could avoid the looks of surprise, shock and pity. In the spare of the moment, I began to type the Twitter thread that would go viral. I wanted to express the attack in my own words, no one was going to describe my attack, my story, but me.

The power of social media came into effect, and soon enough the mainstream media picked up the story. I never would have believed how much of a conversation the attack generated, or the amount of support extended to me and my family from people all around the world. With conversation came questions.

Why did this attack happen? What led to the event? But more importantly: Why is acid, or corrosive substances, so easy to obtain and be used as a weapon?

Currently, I have two main priorities: to make a full recovery and to make sure no one ever goes through the living nightmare I have endured. Since the attack and the vast media coverage, the disturbing rise of attacks using corrosive substances as a weapon has been brought to the public’s attention.

In London, the number of incidents involving corrosive substances has rose from 186 between 2014 and 2015 to 397 in 2016 and 2017. Street gangs are now using these life-changing substances instead of guns and knives. Why are acids the new street weapon? Because corrosive substances are readily available in-store and online for as little as £6.50 and the laws surrounding possession is loose.

I cannot sit back whilst others remain indoors in fear of this happening to them. This problem needs to be eliminated. I refuse to allow the country I grew up in to simply get used to corrosive substance attacks. The fear is real. The crime is real.

From The Mirror