Two-Finger Test & Dignity of Rape Survivors.

On paper, India has many modern and supportive laws for women. These legal guidelines appear greater reformist than the legal guidelines of many developed countries. However, in practice transgression of regulation takes vicinity from the grassroots level. The violation of legal guidelines at the most basic level, is true, what should bother our collective conscience. Lack of education and understanding upholders of regulation, docs, and law officials frequently prevent the direction of justice for the survivors. This lack of awareness stop the survivors from telling about rape and sexual assault, however, even when the survivors might have decided to document the crime, this deficiency of consciousness can make the experience more traumatized and disempowered. The data released by NCRB shows that about 58,631 cases were filed within a year which means that approx 3800 cases in a month, 129 cases in a day, and 5 instances in an hour had been filed.

 What’s virginity testing?

People have distinctive surreal ways of detecting whether a lady is a virgin or not. This detection is usually performed to separate “pure” girls from “impure” ladies. Purity is determined by the idea of whether a woman had sexual intercourse or not. If a woman didn’t have sexual intercourse and is a virgin, then she is worthy of getting respect, In other cases, she is not taken into consideration worthy sufficient of being respected via the society.

These exams arecompulsory for unmarried females, frequently without consent or in situations wherein they’re unable to present consent. There are several countries in the world where this inhumane and degrading practice is followed.

The motives for the behavior of those assessments range from region to area. Certain groups in Swaziland and South Africa arrange these tests to save society from pre-marital sex and HIV. In India, this has been a part of the sexual assault assessment of rape victims. In Indonesia, this is part of the choice procedure of the police department.

This test is performed with the help of the doctor when he inserts a finger into the vagina of the victim. The check facilitates in determining laxity and therefore the past sexual experience of the victim i.e, whether the victim is sexually active or not. This test would help in verifying whether the hymen is damaged or not. Insertion of one finger with strain into the vagina shows that the victim is a virgin whereas easy or clean insertion of arms in the vagina suggests that the lady is habituated to sexual activity. The reports of those tests are generally submitted via the docs to the legal professionals who use them as proof to protect their clients. The technique as a whole is unjust for the women and is ethically wrong additionally. The technique also has no scientific explanation and has additionally been completely discarded by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of the Government of India, in its rules and instructions for the survivors of sexual violence. The reasons given by them for abandoning this procedure are –

1. Vaginal introitus isn’t reliable in case of sexual offenses.

2. The hymen can be torn due to various reasons such as cycling, riding or any other physical exercise.

3. The unbroken hymen does not prove the absence of sexual violence and a torn hymen does not rule out the possibility of a sexual offense.

4. The limitation of per vaginum examination is that it can be done only on adult women.

Thus hymen should be considered as any other part of the genital at the same time as documenting exam in instances of sexual violence and other episodes like bleeding, oedema should be documented properly. It was the combined efforts of judiciary, activists, governmental and non-governmental companies which have led us to the vital steps forward within the manner of imparting justice.

Application of Right to Privacy in virginity testing – In many rape cases,   the counsel for the accused complicates the case by creating controversy over the age of rape victim. Even in those cases where no evidence is to the contrary and many times reports of the physicians are twisted to show that there was no rape, or in some cases they show that girl had consented to the sexual activity and she was not forced for any sexual activity… However, the High Court mentioned in several cases and petitions and declined the request of the accused considering the two-finger test conducted on the woman violated her right to privacy, dignity and mental integrity. Also, the Bench offered its view that the consent given for sex cannot be looked up simply on the premise of the two-finger test. Despite the truth that the woman’s virginity has no function to play while medically analyzing her, the test nevertheless continues. After this kind of brutal and monstrous act, the ladies/lady should be protected & rehabilitated.  The World Health Organisation additionally advised that medical examination of women after rape needs to be minimally invasive and has additionally advised that any type of medical examination is hardly essential to be completed on a rape survivor. The Supreme Court has defined opinions based totally on the two-finger test as hypothetical and opinionative. In the year 2014, the Union health ministry framed new instructions for treating the rape survivors. Under the purview of those instructions, every medical institution should have a separate room for the clinical and forensic examination of the victim. It also outlawed the two-finger test conducted on the survivors as unscientific.

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