Indian r*pe survivors still subjected to illegal, degrading ‘two-finger r*pe tests’

Indian r*pe survivors still subjected to illegal, degrading ‘two-finger r*pe tests’

  • A study by Human Rights Watch (HRW) found that India's r*pe survivors are still subjected to the two-finger r*pe test.
  • It is a procedure where the doctor inserts his fingers into the survivor's vagina to ascertain sexual activity.
  • Way back 2013, this procedure has already been outlawed for being degrading, humiliating, and damaging.

A study by the international organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) found that r*pe survivors in India are still being subjected to the two-finger r*pe test, an already-outlawed procedure wherein a doctor inserts fingers into the patient’s privates to ascertain sexual activity.

Said study found the practice still carried out in a hospital in Rajasthan, according to a report by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Multiple studies point to India as one of the countries with the highest incidence of r*pe. According to official 2015 government data, close to 35,000 r*pe cases were reported to the police, of which only 7,000 convictions were carried out. Sadly, very few sex crimes are reported, and even fewer actually conclude in serving justice for the r*pe victim.

via clipartpanda.com

Still, survivors could not be blamed for fearing what comes next when they do report their unfortunate experiences — especially if they know they’d be subjected to intrusive, degrading, and humiliating procedures such as the two-finger r*pe test.

It is truly unfortunate that doctors still practice this, even after India’s highest court outlawed it way back 2013:

“Undoubtedly, the two-finger test and its interpretation violates the right of r*pe survivors to privacy, physical and mental integrity and dignity. Thus, this test, even if the report is affirmative, cannot ipso facto, be given rise to presumption of consent,” the 2013 resolution of the land’s Supreme Court.

via hindustantimes.com

This resolution was sparked by the fatal Delhi bus r*pe of 2012, which led to nationwide outrage and the mainstream discourse of sexual harassment in India.

“Medical procedures should not be carried out in a manner that constitutes cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and health should be of paramount consideration while dealing with gender-based violence.

“The State is under an obligation to make such services available to survivors of sexual violence. Proper measures should be taken to ensure their safety and there should be no arbitrary or unlawful interference with her privacy,” the bench said in its landmark resolution.

via indiatimes.com

So in 2014, the government set out new guidelines for dealing with r*pe cases, which did away with the two-finger r*pe test. Said guidelines implored investigators to shift focus from physical examinations (which are subjective and hardly conclusive) to witness and victim testimonies.

As long as the two-finger r*pe test is being performed, survivors are subjected to added unnecessary trauma, and activists are having none of it.

via hindustantimes.com

“Women and girls said that they received almost no attention to their health needs, including counseling, even when it was clear they had a great need for it,” the HRW report added.

After receiving a letter from activists and progressive groups calling to the end of the two-finger test and calling for better access to medical and support services for r*pe survivors in the world’s largest democracy, as well as for better implementation of the 2014 guidelines, their health ministry vowed to take action:

via soc.ucsb.edu

“The ministry will take action if it receives reports that the [2014] guidelines are being ignored,” stated Sanjeeva Kumar, an additional secretary for health and family welfare, in a report by ABS-CBN News.

 

What can you say about this story? If you knew you’d be subjected to a two-finger r*pe test, would you feel comfortable reporting sexual assault? What medical procedure do you think is more effective than this one? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

SOURCES: ABS-CBN News | Reuters | The Hindu

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