#India- New guidelines for handling sexual assault cases in hospitals #Vaw #womenrights


GAURAV VIVEK BHATNAGAR

A new set of guidelines have been recently issued by the Department of Health and Family Welfare for “rapid response by hospitals in case of medico legal case (MLC) examination of sexual assault victims’’. These instructions have come in the wake of the December 16 gang-rape case in which the preparedness at a city hospital was found allegedly somewhat lacking while handling the victim.

As per these new guidelines, sent by the Department to all the directors and medical superintendents of Delhi Government hospitals on January 28, when the victims of sexual assault are brought to the hospitals by the police or otherwise for MLC and treatment then as per the provisions of Section 164 A (2) of the Criminal Procedure Code it should be done “promptly and without delay’’.

“As the victims of sexual assault are traumatised and their physical condition and state of mind are unstable, handling of their case required sensitivity, empathy and compassion,’’ the order noted adding that “therefore, the examining doctor must throughout remain re-assuring, empathetic and sensitive to the victim and should also provide due privacy.’’

Further, the order has noted that in consonance with the directions of the Delhi High Court on performing MLC, “in order to provide privacy to the victim, a separate room should be identified by the director/medical superintendent and marked in all hospitals where the victims can be examined by the attending doctor’’.

Stating that “the room number should be known to the doctors in emergency duty’’, the guidelines further state that “the room should have proper furniture required for medical examination’’ and “the basic equipments, adequate stock of sexual assault forensic evidence (SAFE) kit etc., should be kept available in the room for collection of the forensic evidence.’’

The guidelines also lay down that “the hospital should also provide clothing to the victim in case the victim’s clothes are taken as evidence or action otherwise required fresh clothes to be given’’.

“The hospital should also provide toiletries to the victim after the MLC examination has been concluded,’’ the guidelines note.

For better preparedness to deal with such cases, it has been stated that the director or medical superintendent will arrange periodic training sessions to the doctors on the protocols and guidelines on the MLC examinations/reporting in case of sexual assault victims.’’

These officials are now also required to “organise sensitisation workshop for hospital staff, and medical and paramedical staff in collaboration with the Delhi Commission for Women.’’

Further, it has been stated that “in case where counselling of the victim is required, the same should be provided by the hospital’s own pool of doctors and if that is not available, then the Crisis Intervention Centre, which provides counsellor should be informed’’.

 

No means no: without consent, sex is rape #womenrights #Vaw


On consent for sex, the woman’s word will be the last one.   Once the prosecution is able to prove that there was sexual intercourse in a wide-range of cases, the new sexual assault law requires the court to presume that the victim did not consent as claimed by the

 

The law defines consent as an “unequivocal voluntary agreement” when the person by words, gestures or non-verbal communication communicates willingness. That the victim did not physically resist rape shall not be regarded as consenting to the sexual activity.

Besides police officers, hospital staff and remand home officials, the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance has widened this safeguard to presume absence of consent for victims where the alleged rapist was a relative, guardian, teacher, a person in a position of trust or authority or who had “economic or social dominance”.

 

#Bangalore- Freedom miles, for artist Swar Thounaojam @Feb 8th #Vaw #sexualharassment


You’ve probably heard of Freedom Miles, a series of interactive walks being held in various neighbourhoods of Bangalore (and elsewhere, when possible) initiated by the For Gender Justice group, a coalition of individuals, networks, organizations, institutions et al, that defend human rights.
Freedom Miles tomorrow 8th Feb 2013 as planned. will be at Basavangudi.

Assemble by 4.45 pm and start at 5 pm sharp. We should finish covering the distance (which I think is about 3 kms) in one hour’s time.

 Feb8 th, Fridays activity is primarily in support of Swar Thounaojam, a Bangalore based theatre artist who was slapped by a traffic policeman and sexually harassed by a crowd of around 40 men after she met with an accident on Dec-5 2012 near Netkalappa circle on DVG road in Basavangudi.
The Bangalore police refuses to apologize for the incident or act against the offenders although 2 FIR’s was registered. And, the errant constable filed a counter complaint falsifying the charges. Eyewitnesses to the incident whom some of us met a few weeks later, appreciated Swar’s courageous response and condemned the police (in)action. But, unsurprisingly they refuse to testify against the accused.
Please join the event and/or fwd. this message widely.
CONTACT- forgenderjustice.blr@gmail.com

 

Notice to Karnataka govt on withdrawal of case against Naveen Soorinje #mediagag #foe


 

Bangalore, Feb 6 (PTI): Karnataka High Court today ordered issue of notices to the government and a regional television channel reporter on a PIL challenging the withdrawal of case against him in connection with attack on boys and girls in a homestay in Mangalore.

The division bench headed by acting Chief Justice K Sreedhar Rao ordered issue of notices to the government and reporter Naveen Sooringe on a PIL by advocate M P Amruthesh, seeking revocation of the cabinet decision to withdraw the case against Sooringe.

The petitioner said the government “without applying its mind” had withdrawn the case against Sooringe due to media pressure. He contended that there are 44 accused in the case and withdrawing the case only against Sooringe was “illegal and against Article 14 of the Constitution”.

He further submitted that the accused in the case were charged under various sections of IPC, the Indecent Representation of Women Act and Karnataka Prevention of Development and Loss of Property Act.

He also pointed out that the case had been withdrawn despite Sooringe’s bail being rejected by district court in Mangalore and also the High court.

On January 31, the cabinet decided to withdraw the case against Sooringe who is in judicial custody since his arrest on August 27, 2012.

 

Girls harrassed by Maurice Nagar police at anti-Modi protests in DU #Vaw


English: Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Guja...

English: Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat, India, speaks during the welcome lunch at the World Economic Forum’s India Economic Summit 2008 in New Delhi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

On 6th of February, there was a large protest against the invitation of and talk by Narendra Modi by SRCC Students Union, organised by various students groups and individuals. The road in front of SRCC had 3 rows of barricades on each side, some of which were subsequently broken. The Delhi police was extremely vicious in their handling of the situation, and were both highly sexist and communal. They passed lewd comments about women standing near the barricade, made kissing gestures and noises, asked women to come closer and talk to them. They also very openly stared and laughed at women in a way that was clearly sexual. When a woman student demanded that women police officers be present at the barricade as well to confront women students, she was told ‘aap aurat kahaan se hain’. Women were also told repeatedly to give up as they’re too weak to break barricades. Some women were told that they should stop protesting or they would be meted the same treatment as women in Gujarat in 2002. At the police station, women students were groped and felt up by the police when they tried to enter.

In addition to this the police also detained 8 protestors. ABVP students were allowed on the other side of the barricade, one even climbed the water cannon, but none of them were detained. This was despite them threatening students, particularly women, by saying things like “jo gujrat ke aurton ka haal kiya wohi tera hoga”. The police, after lathi charging students, laughing and joking as they did so, went on to drag students and throw them in the middle of ABVP and RSS activists, where they were further beaten up. 

They were attacked by both ABVP goons and the police, who were supporting each other. The police were particularly obnoxious, whistling and winking at the female students (who were also groped at the Thana) and beating them (and the boys) up sadistically with lathis in addition to water cannons. The ABVP threatened them with Gujarat-like consequences – “Jo Gujarat mein huya vaise tujh me ghusa doonga” while brandishing a stick and similar things. Meanwhile the police were watching and laughing at the girls and other protestors and saying things like “kar le jo karna hai, kya lar payegi” and openly supporting the ABVP students, who were even dancing on the water cannons as they aimed at the protestors. The worst is that they would pick up some of the protestors (including young women) and push them into a crowd of ABVP goons who would then beat them. Some protestors were picked up and taken to the police station, and beaten up on the way (including on the head and groin with lathis). NONE of this shocking stuff is coming out in any of the news reports.

 

 

 

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