Fighting back

Lawyer who was nearly blinded in acid attack runs for Parliament to combat gender-based violence

Italian lawyer Lucia Annibali, current candidate for Italy's Democratic Party (PD, Partito Democratico) for the upcoming March general elections in the Piedmont region, poses within an interview with AFP in Rome on February 7, 2018. (ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)

A lawyer who nearly lost her eyesight after a brutal acid attack orchestrated by her former boyfriend is running for Parliament in Italy, where she hopes to lead a push against gender-based violence. Lucia Annibali, 40, was left badly disfigured in 2013 after a hooded figure sprayed sulphonic acid in her face while she was returning home from work. Annibali was rushed to the burn unit in Parma, where doctors managed to save her vision. The damage to her face, however, required her to endure around 20 reconstructive surgeries. Annibali’s former fiance, Luca Varani, was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2016 after he was found guilty of paying two Albanian men to carry out the attack.

In the wake of the attack, Annibali was made an honorary citizen of Parma and was invited by then-head of the Department of Equal Opportunities Maria Elena Boschi to serve as an advisor, a role that she still serves in today. Now, she hopes to make an even greater impact by representing Parma in Parliament as a candidate for the center-left Democratic Party.

“The attack changed my life for the better,” said Annibali. “Regaining my sight and relearning to eat are all battles that make you truly appreciate the value of life.”

Watch video coverage of Annibali’s story below.

Read the full story at The Local.

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