Acid attack victim Katie Piper: 'Society must change'

21/03/11

Acid attack victim Katie Piper has said society "needs to change as a whole" for people with facial disfigurements to feel accepted.

Katie, 27, suffered serious burns to her face and neck when an ex-boyfriend arranged for sulphuric acid to be thrown in her face three years ago.

She has had ongoing treatment since.

She's also met other young people living with disfigurements for a new Channel 4 TV series, Katie: My Beautiful Friends.

Katie, who was an aspiring model before the attack, told Newsbeat people's reactions to facial disfigurement could have serious effects.

'Change perceptions'

"What may seem like just a stare may be enough to tip [someone] over the edge that day.

One look or one stare to satisfy your own curiosity could go on to stop that person doing huge things
Katie Piper

"One look or one stare to satisfy your own curiosity could go on to stop that person doing huge things; leaving the house, getting a job.

"We all have insecurities. Whether we don't like our legs or we think our nose is too big, for a stranger to confirm that is pretty damaging to somebody."

Society needs to "change and challenge perceptions" in order to raise acceptance of those who are disfigured, said Katie.

The new four-part documentary follows her continuing treatment and sees Katie speak to others about how to get the best out of life when others can't get past appearance.

She previously spoke out about her ordeal in the 2009 Bafta-nominated documentary, Katie: My Beautiful Face.

Ex-boyfriend Daniel Lynch and Stefan Sylvestre, the man who threw the acid, were jailed for life the same year.

Katie: My Beautiful Friends starts on Channel 4 on 22 March at 9pm.