Dagenham Woman Naomi Oni Suffers Acid Attack on London Street
By Hannah Osborne | February 2, 2013 5:41 AM EST
A 20-year-old woman from Dagenham, London, has been left facially disfigured and partially blinded after an acid attack that took place on 30 December.
Naomi Oni was attacked on her way home from work in Victoria's Secret in Westfield Stratford when a masked assailant threw acid in her face.
She managed to make her way home and phoned an ambulance. She has been receiving medical treatment at the Broomfield Hospital and Chelmsford for the last month.
Oni was left with serious burns on her head, neck, arms and body but has now been released from hospital.
Dagenham and Barking police say no arrests have been made and they are keeping an open mind to the motive of the attack.
Speaking to the Evening Standard, Oni said she wanted to make people aware of what happened to her because the police have so few leads.
She said her life has been "destroyed". "I look in the mirror and it just isn't me. I'll never look the same again," she said.
"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.
Felt a splash on my face
"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.
"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?"
Scotland Yard said acid attacks are "extremely rare" in the UK.
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