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‘Doctors not trained in rape exam protocols’

The ‘guidelines and protocols for medico legal care for survivors / victims of sexual violence’ were brought in 2014 but never shared with doctors formally to train them in the new protocols.

lucknow Updated: Mar 24, 2018 13:38 IST
Gaurav Saigal
Gaurav Saigal
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Doctors,Rape victim,Medical check up
A colposcopy examination helps identify genital injury not readily visible to the naked eye, thereby clarifying the location and extent of injury as well as providing evidence for legal battle.(Representative image)

Rape victims who seek justice have to fight a tough battle. When they clear the first hurdle at the police station, the next big trouble comes at the hospital where their medical examination is conducted. Often made to wait for hours, the rape survivor can be identified sitting in the middle of two lady constables or beside one of them in a corner, in a veil.

“It is ironical that the person who should get the utmost attention and be attended on priority basis is made to sit without a reason,” said Dr Nilam Singh, one of the experts in the Lucknow’s Ashiyana case and a gynaecologist working for women’s welfare.

There is another reason. The ‘guidelines and protocols for medico legal care for survivors / victims of sexual violence’ were brought in 2014 but never shared with doctors formally to train them in the new protocols.

“None of the doctors has been provided training for the new protocols that say rape survivor should be given attention on priority. Also it describes use of technology to gather evidence but unfortunately majority of such examinations is based on conventional and poor methods,” said Dr Singh.

“While colposcopy can help gather semen even if there is delayed examination, most doctors still trust the finger test, which does not make the case strong,” she said.

A colposcopy examination helps identify genital injury not readily visible to the naked eye, thereby clarifying the location and extent of injury as well as providing evidence for legal battle.

The guidelines were introduced after one year of examination of cases by a high level committee.

First Published: Mar 24, 2018 12:56 IST