India banned the age-old two-finger test for rape survivors and compiled a new set of guidelines for treating them.
The Department of Health Research (DHR) and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) have formulated new guidelines according to which it is compulsory for medical institutions to provide privacy to rape survivors by providing a separate room to conduct forensic and medical tests on them.
"It has been observed that the rape victims are usually put under a horribly judgmental microscope from the moment they call the cops," said Indrajit Khandekar, in-charge of the Clinical Forensic Medicine Unit and associate professor at Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences.
According to the new guidelines, no third person apart from the doctor should be present while conducting medical tests and if the doctor is a male, a female attendant should be present with him.
Health care providers need to understand the sensitivity of the situation and thus accordingly make arrangements for another set of clothes for survivors and collection of evidence.
Across the globe, medical experts have said that the present two-finger test or virginity test is unscientific. The guideline asks doctors not to use the word "rape" in their report as it is a legal term and not a medical one.
Eight months ago the Supreme Court had said that the two-finger test was a violation of the rape victim's privacy. Through this test doctors decide whether the girl is habituated to sexual intercourse or not.