Medical check-up of rape victim a tough task
Most victims experience fear, anger, shame and guilt and have to be counselled, calmed and convinced for the test.lucknow Updated: Mar 24, 2018 12:55 IST
Medical examination is one of the important aspects in a rape case but getting it conducted properly is a tough task as the victim is often too traumatised to cooperate or follow instructions, say cops as well as doctors .
“We face multiple difficulties in handling the victims of rape or sexual assault and getting their medical examinations conducted properly,” said a woman sub-inspector (S-I) of Hazratganj police station. She said most victims experienced fear, nightmares, sleep problems, anger, embarrassment, shame, guilt or a combination of all these. So first they had to be counselled to calm them down and convince them to get their medical examination conducted, she said.
The S-I said the victims’ anger and fear was often vented on police personnel, hospital staff or family members. She said it was very difficult to handle them in this condition and it required proper training for women cops as well as men police personnel to treat them politely. But often the police personnel were not trained to handle such situations and they started reacting to the victim’s anger and fear, causing major delay or interruption in the medical process.
She said the women police personnel had to rope in the victim’s family members and friends to calm her down and explain the importance of medical examination in the fight of justice and get the culprits convicted in court.
The S-I said the second difficulty that women constables faced in the victims’ medical examination was that the medical staff in government hospitals was not sensitised so they were often made to wait for long hours. “Doctors and medical staff react as if the cops have come to them for a personal favour whenever women cops request them expedite the process or deal with it on a priority basis,” she said.
Member of Lucknow Child Welfare Committee (CWC), Sangeeta Sharma feels it is high time the law enforcement agencies and medical authorities focus on conducting sensitisation programmes at school, parental and social levels to curb incidents of rape with minors.
Advocate Rohit Kant Srivastav, who has handled multiple case of rape with minors, said it was very difficult to counsel rape victims and make them understand the importance of medical examination. He said the rape survivors, especially minor ones, had to go through acute trauma to recall the horror and face the accused during the medical examination.
A senior gynaecologist Dr Kumkum Srivastava said rape or sexual assault had long time effect on victims, leading to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). She said they re-experienced the trauma while sleeping and suffered negative effects on cognition and mood. Rape victims often faced inability to experience positive emotions, sleep difficulties and irritability.