Millennium Post

Govt outlaws ‘two-finger test’ for rape victims now

The union health ministry, w hich has drawn new guidelines for treating rape victims, has asked all hospitals to set up a designated room for forensic and medical examination of victims besides outlawing the two-finger test performed on them, dubbing it as unscientific.

 The Department of Health Research (DHR) along with Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) with the help of experts formulated this set of national guidelines for dealing with criminal assault cases, which will hopefully put an end to the ‘horrendous’ medical process, which the victims are subjected to after the sexual abuse.

 The DHR has also drafted a new manual to address the psycho-social impact of sexual violence including counselling that the victims should receive to alleviate her woes.

 These guidelines have been made available to health care providers who work with victims of sexual violence. A experts’ group on gender and health was formed by Dr V M Katoch, secretary to GOI-DHR and director general ICMR in November 2011 under the chairmanship of Dr M E Khan (secretary, Sexual Violence Research Initiative) to formulate these guidelines which can be used at Primary Health Centres and district hospitals whenever a rape victim approaches them. Later, Indrajit Khandekar, in-charge Clinical Forensic Medicine Unit (CFMU) and associate professor at Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (MGIMS) Sevagram- Wardha (on whose study report titled ‘pitiable & horrendous quality of forensic medical examination of sexual assault cases’ a PIL was filed in Bombay high court) was given the responsibility to draft these guidelines. The guidelines drafted were made available to public and experts and their opinion was sought.
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