England’s Cricket Team have taken time out of their sporting tour to highlight British efforts to stop horrific acid attacks against Bangladesh’s most vulnerable girls and women.
Off the back of their win of the first Test match against the host nation, the England Team attended a round table at the British High Commission in Bangladesh to learn how the Department for International Development is supporting victims of acid attacks, and contributing to the prevention of further violence.
In Bangladesh, more than 80% of women experience physical or mental abuse during their marriage, with acid attacks a prominent method used. So far this year, 42 individuals have been affected by acid attacks, down from a peak of 496 seen in 2002.
The Team met with beneficiaries of UK-funded programmes, hearing how the UK provides victims with access to security, justice and health services and community leaders with resource to drive projects designed to tackle the root causes of this violence.
International Development Secretary Priti Patel said:
Countries like Bangladesh have made great improvements to the lives of girls and women in recent years, but many people still face a daily threat of severe and debilitating domestic violence.
Cowardly acid attacks are utterly unacceptable. They cause great suffering and hold back entire communities from reaching their full potential.
I am very grateful to the England Cricket Team for taking the time to highlight the vital work my Department is doing in this area. We will continue to work with local organisations to provide medical support and secure justice for victims, while reducing the vulnerability of girls and women in the future.
Tom Harrison, Chief Executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board, said:
I’m pleased the England Cricket Team had the opportunity to learn more about the Department for International Development’s work in Bangladesh. We have been left in no doubt that the UK’s efforts in supporting victims of violence, particularly acid attacks that sadly see such prominence in the country, are changing lives and giving those affected the physical and psychological support they so desperately need.
I am sure the visit, which was organised in conjunction with the British High Commission in Dhaka, has been a moving and educational experience for the players.