CHICAGO (CBS) — A woman who survived a horrifying attack was honored Tuesday night for fighting to protect other would-be victims, reports CBS 2’s Pamela Jones.

Esperanza Medina was badly disfigured when acid was splashed onto her face. The suspects were caught on surveillance video.

“It’s just like, I’m in shock because I didn’t know I that was going to get something like this. But I appreciate it,”

Still bearing the scars of an acid attack five years ago, Esperanza Medina stood for peace this evening.

Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez presented her an award for her bravery and resilience.

“I know that the justice system is good. But I didn’t know that they’d remember,” said Medina.

The attack was memorable for all the wrong reasons. It was July of 2008.

Surveillance cameras in Logan Square recorded the violent images as suspects tossed caustic sulfuric acid at Medina’s face.

With tears in her eyes she’s relived that moment, testifying in support of legislation to ban the retail sale of substances like the acid that burned her.

She says the years since have meant re-learning her past skills and struggling to build new ones for her future.

“Eating, writing, talking. And I just started school. I finish in December, I hope,” said Medina.

Her hope now is that others will grow from witnessing her story.

”Let’s live with harmony and peace,” said Medina.

“It’s extremely important for victims to come forth when they’re victims of crime and witnesses. Obviously, as you can see here tonight, there are many people who have experienced horrific crimes,” said Alvarez.

Medina has worked hard to heal from her emotional and physical scars but she wants to make sure others don’t have to suffer like she has.

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