In the 18th century, people decided that penetrating a woman with two fingers was the best check for rape. If there’s “vaginal laxity”, she’s clearly too promiscuous to tell the truth about rape!
And India follows this practice to this day, maybe because our love for tradition is just too much. For a nation which wants to take credit for modern science, we’re incredibly ignorant about testing for rape – we happily follow what is clearly “medical rape”.
And today, doctors who should know better about how the female anatomy works, still carry it out across India.
Tribals in South Africa follow it
IBtimes reported that the test is compulsory as part of an initiation ceremony in South Africa, a primitive one that ends with their clitoris being cut out. Clearly, there’s no science here.
So does Indonesian police administration
When a woman wants to join the police force of the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country, she’ll be tested for mettle, strength – and virginity. This is the kind of backward thinking that India shares.
Pakistan and Bangladesh are trying to ban it
The Dawn had reported Pakistan’s attempt to abolish the act in 2013, though unsuccessfully, which (ineffectively) tests for both promiscuity and hymen breakage in case of rape. Surprisingly, in the same year, Bangladesh prohibited the act, and then in 2014 drafted a forensic testing policy that termed the test “unscientific” and “horrendous.”
We’re also trying to ban it, but not hard enough, clearly
In 2013, the Health ministry drafted the basis for better forensic medical examination that would end the test. Instead, a forensic “rape kit” in line with the World Health Organisation guidelines was conceptualised:
– Test tube for blood sample and Urine sample container
– Paper bag for clothing
– Large sheet of paper for patient to lie down
– Cotton swabs to check for DNA
– Sterile water
– Glass slides
– Unwaxed dental floss
– Wooden stick for fingernail scrapings
– Envelopes or boxes for individual evidence samples
– Gown, blanket and pillow
– Med-scope and/or colcoscope
– Clean clothing and hygiene items for the victim after the exam
In most of the western world, rape test protocol also includes addressing injuries and the possibility of sexually transmissible infections. Even in Africa, infamous for its cruelty against women, victims are entitled a Morning After Pill (MAP), a HIV test and antiretroviral treatment within 72 hours along with antibiotics (to prevent other diseases), according to the Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust.
In India, thousands of women don’t even get the dignity of an FIR.
Originally posted in Indiatimes