Cheluvamba gets dedicated facility to test rape victims

The round the clock facility is manned by dedicated staff

Cheluvamba gets dedicated facility to test rape victims

Following the Supreme Court’s guidelines in general and spurt in the cases of sexual harassment in particular, Cheluvamba Women’s Hospital in the city, has opened round the clock dedicated facility to test the victims of sexual harassment.

The hospital was recently under the media glare, after a 23-year-old specially-abled woman from Thayur in T Narsipur taluk in the district had alleged that she was made to wait for three hours, in a disrobed state. Following the incident, the doctor on duty was suspended. 

Now, an exclusive room has been set up at the first floor of the hospital, which is equipped with two beds, and has two dedicated nurses and one health assistant. The procedure will be supervised by the duty doctor among the 20 available doctors in the department of gynaecology. Already, five victims of sexual harassment have been tested here.

Medical Superintendent Dr Radhamani said that the service was launched a month ago on July 28. 

The victims of sexual harassments will be brought here directly, without any interference. The rape kit comprises containers to store hair strands, microscope slides and plastic bags for collecting and storing evidence such as clothing fibers, hairs, saliva, semen or body fluid, which may help identify the assailant and provide evidence supporting prosecution in a criminal trial.

 Clothes of the victim at the time of the incident considered as vital evidence by the court will also be preserved in separate bag, before sealing the same. In case of minor victims, assistance of parents of the victim will be taken during the medical procedure. 

Apart from getting preliminary information from the police, the medical staff will also record the statement of the   victim. 

Radhamani explained that the test takes a minimum of 30 minutes, during which time the doctors and health assistants have to take the victim into confidence, before starting the procedure. In the case of injuries, the victim has to be treated for the wounds too.

Radhamani said that it was imperative to create separate facilities as there has been a surge in such cases in the recent past. During the month of July alone, 25 such cases have been reported against two to three cases earlier. 

Radhamani said that previously rape victims were subjected to medical test at the labour ward of the hospital, while the statement was recorded in another room.
 However, there were complaints about the facilities being inadequate in guarding the victim’s identity.

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