Treating survivors of rape and sexual assault

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Sexual assault and rape can have long-lasting emotional, physical, and social effects on survivors, and are a violation of a person's human rights. Health care workers are often a first point of contact for survivors of sexual assault and rape, and it is the responsibility of the health care worker to provide emotional support and first aid, as well as collection of evidence for the prosecution of perpetrators.

The setting for the initial examination of a rape survivor should be a quiet, private place with sufficient lighting and a comfortable bed. The examination itself should be carried out in a non-threatening manner. Any medical doctor can conduct the examination. A female doctor is preferable, but if one is not available a male doctor should conduct the examination with a female chaperone. If the rape survivor is a minor, a parent, guardian or other trusted person should be in the room during the examination. The examination should be conducted without delay, because evidence is lost with time. The law currently states that the sexual assault survivor does not require an FIR from police to receive a rape examination, and any medical institution which the survivor approaches (whether public or private) is required to perform treatment as well as documentation [1]

See also, Rape trauma syndrome

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Source: CEHAT Manual for Medical Examination of Sexual Assault pg 8

Resources for survivors of rape, sexual assault and domestic violence




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