Naomi Oni, Dagenham acid attack victim, 'wanted to die'

Naomi Oni told the BBC she ran down the street screaming

A woman has said she did not want to live when she saw herself for the first time after having acid thrown in her face near her home in east London.

Naomi Oni, 20, said she was attacked by a person wearing a veil covering their face after getting off a bus in Lodge Avenue, Dagenham, on 30 December.

She said: "I've never been so scared in my life. I just knew it was acid.

"The first time I looked I was shocked. I didn't want to live after I saw my face."

Miss Oni, who worked at the Victoria's Secret lingerie store in Westfield, Stratford, is recovering after undergoing surgery for burns sustained in the attack.

'That person failed'

When she first saw herself in the mirror she said: "My head was 10 times the size, my face was black, my eyes were swollen and my eyes were cutting out.

Naomi Oni after acid attack Naomi Oni said her whole head was swollen after the attack

"I thought I was going to go blind. I was terrified."

Determined to stay positive despite her injuries, she said things could have been much worse.

"That person failed, whatever their aim was they failed.

"God has given me a life for a reason and that's what keeps me going."

She told BBC London she was making her way home from work when the attack happened at about 00:40 GMT.

"I got off the bus stop of my house and was about to cross the road, I felt a presence behind me so I decided to look back.

"I saw what seemed to be a lady wearing what I think is a hijab (sic), which was mostly black.

"I remember being startled and shocked, thinking 'I don't remember her getting off the bus with me, I didn't hear footsteps behind me'.

"The person was just staring back at me."

'Screaming hysterically'

Miss Oni said as she turned her head back she "felt something being thrown at her and felt a splash".

Naomi Oni Miss Oni worked in Victoria's Secret in Westfield Stratford

"I ran home down the road screaming hysterically shouting on the phone to my boyfriend telling him to call 999.

"I got to my door and was shouting acid, acid, acid.

"Before I could feel it burning, I just knew it was acid, I thought OK someone is out to... kill me."

Relatives helped her flush her face with water before paramedics arrived at the house.

Miss Oni said: "I was scared, I was shaking, I've never been so scared in my life."

She has since been released from hospital having undergone skin grafts.

And she says while she feels lucky not to have been blinded, she has no idea why she was targeted.

"I have no clue why someone would do this to me.

"I still ask myself the same question every day, Why me? What have I done? I didn't understand."

The Metropolitan Police have said officers were keeping an open mind as to the motive. No arrests have been made.

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC London



5 °C 2 °C

Features & Analysis

  • Abdi Nor IftinGolden ticket

    How a refugee entered a lottery and won a new life in the US

  • Herring in a fur coatMerry herring

    How fish 'in a fur coat' is enough to make Russia's New Year happy

  • Curiosity Self-Portrait at 'Windjana' Drilling SiteIn pictures

    The most stunning space photos of the year

  • Amy Adams, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock and Dame Judi DenchFilm quiz of 2014

    How much do you remember about the past 12 months?

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • GeoguessrWhere in the world...?

    Think you are a geography expert? Test your knowledge with BBC Travel’s interactive game


  • Tom BrookTalking Movies Watch

    Tom Brook looks back at some of the best movies of 2014 from around the world

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.