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Acid attack survivor redefines beauty on Colombian runway
An acid attack survivor walked the fashion runway in Bogota on March 30, in a show of strength for other women to speak out against violence against women in the South American country. Patrick Espitia had acid thrown on her face some 11 years ago. More than 40 surgeries later, she has got her smile back and is putting her best foot forward for this catwalk event called, "A Woman Reborn". Acid attacks are widely reported in countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan but local cases often receive little attention in Colombia. With a bottle of sulphuric acid costing as little $3, it is one of the cheapest and debilitating physical attacks. According to Colombia's Institute of Legal Medicine, there were some 900 cases of acid attacks in Colombia over the past decade, and most of the cases were against women between the ages of 26 and 35. Rates for other acts of violence against women in Colombia are also alarming. Recent statistics from the United Nations estimates that some 87,000 Colombian women are killed yearly. More than half of the assailants are partners or family members. However, only a small number of victims have seen justice done and those who face trial often receive light sentences. Espitia hopes her catwalk debut will change wider attitudes and the realities for many women in the Latin American country.