Friday, November 28, 2014

Getting Medical Aid after Sexual Assault:What you Need to Know

A Prajnya 16 Days Campaign against Gender Violence Resource

If someone you know is sexually assaulted, you may feel helpless, overwhelmed and unsure of how you can help. Here’s what you need to know in order to help them deal with the immediate aftermath.

  1. They should first go to a safe place and confide in someone they trust such as a family member or a friend.
  2. They should go to a hospital immediately to seek medical care. It is important to note that under Section 357-C of the Code of Criminal Procedure, all private and public hospitals are required by law to to provide immediate and free medical care to anyone who has been raped.
  3. They need to seek medical care without changing clothes, bathing, urinating, brushing teeth, eating or changing sanitary pads so as to preserve the physical evidence. It is important to note that most physical evidence starts disappearing after the first hour and no traces will be found after 3 days.
  4. Under the law, rape and assault victims are entitled to confidential treatment and are required to provide informed consent for all medical procedures including the collection of forensic evidence. They should make sure the attending physician explains every procedure in detail and only allow them to proceed if they consent.
  5. They should make sure that their outer and underclothes are bagged for evidence and that all physical injuries are recorded.
  6. They should be tested for any possible internal injuries or concussions.
  7. They should ensure that forensic evidence including saliva, blood, urine and swabs from the mouth,rectum and genitals are taken.
  8. They should be advised about Emergency Contraception to prevent unwanted pregnancies as well as tested for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and HIV. Ideally, the Morning-After pill should be taken within 72 hours of the assault.
  9. They should also be provided with psychological care and they are entitled to private, non-judgemental, supportive and validating care.
  10. It is essential that they seek further psychological help and trauma counselling from a qualified counselor or mental health professional.
  11. They should be referred to appropriate support services including psycho-social and legal support.They can also approach local service providers.
  12. They should say NO to the Two-Finger Rape Test. The Government of India has issued standardised medico-legal guidelines and protocols to govern the medical response to rape and sexual assault.These guidelines explicitly ban the 2-finger rape test.
  13. They should decide if they want to report the assault to the police.  
  14. It is important to note that the sooner the assault is reported, the greater the chance police will have to collect and document physical evidence before it gets destroyed or lost.
  15. If they wish to report the assault, they need to go to the nearest police station and file a First Information Report (FIR). To know more about how to file an FIR:


1 comment:

  1. Nice blog! all the images and contents are very good. Very informative blog I just read . GE 3S