- Call comes days after a student died from injuries after being gang-raped by six men on a bus in Delhi
- Activists say test on rape victim is a second assault on an already traumatised woman
By JILL REILLY
A human rights organisation has demanded the so-called 'two finger rape test' to see if a woman has been assaulted to be banned.
Activists argue the unreliable and invasive test on a rape victim is a second assault on an already traumatised woman.
The call comes days after a 23-year-old student died after being gang-raped by six men on a bus in Delhi, thrusting India's attitude to rape into the spotlight.
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Outcry: A human rights organsiation has called for the two finger so-called 'rape test' to see if a woman has been raped to end days after a woman died after being gang-raped by six men on a bus in Delhi, sparking outrage
In a report released yesterday in India, Human Rights Watch deemed the practice as evidence of how India had failed to take rape seriously and did not consider the victim's dignity.
'IT WAS THE MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT OF MY LIFE:' WOMAN WHO UNDERWENT TWO FINGER TEST
The test requires a doctor to insert two fingers into a women’s vagina apparently to determine whether the victims are 'virgins' or 'used to sexual intercourse.'
They believe it helps them to judge whether the hymen has been recently torn or if the women is already sexually active, but activists state this is completely unfair and unreliable as the tissue can be affected by event such as exercise which are unrelated to sexual intercourse.
The test, which appears in Indian law books is often is used by defence counsels to achieve acquittals and feeds the myth that rape survivors are loose women, according to activists.
The Union Health Ministry decided to make the finger test optional in March 2011 stating that it should only be carried out if the doctor finds it necessary and only with the consent of the victim.
But several city hospitals are still practising the test on rape victims who are unaware they are required to consent to it.
'The ground reality is that doctors at city hospitals not only conduct these tests on rape survivors without consent, but also pass derogatory remarks while doing so,' said activist Bharti Ali to The New Indian Express.
A rape survivor told the newspaper she was made to sleep on the floor of a city hospital for almost two days after the invasive test was conducted on her.
'Police took me to Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital after the attack. Doctors there didn’t inform me the test was optional, and just conducted it. If I ever had any idea it was optional, I’d never have gone through it. This was the most embarrassing moment in my life,' she said.
Remembrance: Students hold candles as they pray during a candlelight vigil for a gang rape victim, who was assaulted in New Delhi
Awareness: The gang-rape and killing of a New Delhi student has set off an impassioned debate about what India needs to do to prevent such a tragedy from happening again
There is so much confusion on the ban on the two-finger test, that even some police authorities are not aware of new guidelines.
When the newspaper asked a A Delhi police official in charge of rape cases why he allows doctors to carry out the test he told the reporter: 'Without the test, how will one know if the person has been raped or not?'
The bus gang-rape incident has forced India to confront the reality that sexually-assaulted women are often blamed for the crime, forcing them to keep quiet and discouraging them from reporting it to authorities for fear of exposing their families to ridicule.
Women face daily harassment across India, ranging from catcalls on the streets, groping and touching in public transport, to rape.
Government data show the number of reported rape cases in the country rose by nearly 17 percent between 2007 and 2011.
Rape victims rarely press charges because of social stigma and fear they will be accused of inviting the attack.
Many women say they structure their lives around protecting themselves and their daughters from attack.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2255299/Two-finger-rape-test-India-causes-victims-suffering-end-experts-say.html#ixzz2GeqWVWgH
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