192 rape cases in ’12, 25% of victims minors

Victims minors

'Doctors are being sensitised to deal with rape victims'

Nearly one-fourth of rape victims last year were girls below 16 years. Of the four rapes reported in the first six days of 2013, one is a six-year-old child who had to undergo a vaginal repair surgery and is yet to be discharged. At Sassoon General Hospital, the sole government facility to medically examine and treat rape victims, doctors admit that it is a challenging task.

Data available at Sassoon Hospital reveal that of 192 rape cases reported from January to December last year, 18 were girls in the age group of 1-12 years and 23 were in the age group of 12-16 years. A total of 151 women were in the age group of 16 years and above.

Dr R A Bhosale, Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology , B J Medical College and Sassoon Hospital, told Newsline that doctors have been sensitised to deal with rape victims with empathy. "After the torture that a victim has been through, it is another ordeal for her to confide in doctors conducting medical examination."

A majority of medico-legal cases involving rapes are sent to Sassoon where 2,000 patients come to OPD daily. "We have the necessary test kits and forensic equipment that helps police trace the rapist. Nothing crucial is missed in our medical examination. Most of the times there are abrasions on the back and terrible bite marks on lips and chest. For older menopausal women, there have been instances where the vagina has been torn and intestines have had to be surgically pushed back in place," Bhosale said. At least 5 per cent of rape victims last year required surgeries in their internal parts," he said.

Dr Sameer Joshi, Deputy Dean of B J MC and Sassoon Hospital, said there were instances where women who reported with ailments like vertigo in the ENT department or hip fractures in the orthopaedic department finally confided in doctors that they were raped. ""There was a case where the woman said she was slapped brutally and suffered symptoms like loss of balance and so availed of treatment at the ENT department. But she broke down suddenly and revealed her story," Joshi said.

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