GENDER SENSITIZATION OF MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS IN THE EXAMINATION AND TREATMENT OF RAPE VICTIMS: A CRITICAL ANALYSIS

Abstract

Rocket Chandra Brahma1 , Deka Swapna Manindranath2

Rape is the ultimate crime a man can commit against woman. Rape is the humiliation of a woman???s body and soul. It is the subordination of women by men in a patriarchal society. It is the violation of a woman???s right to live with dignity which is recognized as a human right under different Conventions. The number of rape cases per lakh population has risen continuously in India over the years. Under the Indian legal system, rape has been made a punishable offence under Sec. 376 of Indian Penal Code which imposes a minimum term of seven years imprisonment and a maximum of life imprisonment and even capital punishments (amended) for the offence of rape. Rape cases involve controversial medico-legal questions which are likely to arise in a court of law. The role of the medical professionals is crucial in corroborating evidence to support or rebut the allegations of rape along with attending to physical injuries, providing medical care, prophylaxis for pregnancy, supporting the patients by referrals and access to community resources. The paper aims to critically analyze the role of the medical professionals in the examination and treatment of the rape victims in the emergency department. The paper recommends gender sensitization among the medical professionals, health and policy makers, proper and timely examination and treatment of the rape victims.

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