Responding to sexual assault: A study of practices of health professionals in a public hospital

Authors : Sana Contractor

Published Year: 2011

Mumbai: CEHAT and New Delhi: SAMA, 58 p., 2011 [ISBN: 978-81-89042-57-8]

The study showed that there are several gaps in both the medico-legal as well as therapeutic response of the hospital to sexual assault survivors. As far as the medico-legal role of health providers is concerned, we find that there are no uniform protocols for seeking consent, history, conducting examinations or for evidence collection and hence there is a lot of variation between the practice of various doctors. There is no protocol for how, from whom and for what consent needs to be sought and coercion was evident in certain types of cases. Doctors also articulate the lack of skills vis-à-vis seeking history from children and building rapport with survivors which serves as a barrier to eliciting thorough history. The study also suggests that health care providers, in cases of sexual assault, perceive their role to be largely medico-legal rather than therapeutic. Download full report

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