Target: Indian Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan
Goal: Improve post-sexual assault care standards and facilities
A mentally challenged rape victim was recently made to wait naked in an Indian hospital for three hours before medical processing began. The 23 year old victim was left laying exposed on a hospital bed in government-run Cheluvamba Hospital in Mysore after being brought in by police, and waited three hours for a crucial medical examination. The victim’s mother finally had to demand immediate care before a doctor arrived. The incident was humiliating for both her and her family members, particularly after the trauma of rape.
Doctors at the hospital placed the blame on a lack of resources. According to a statement by hospital staff to the Women’s Commission, there are no separate areas or private facilities in which to conduct post-rape examinations. The treatment the woman received in hospital was determined a violation of procedural guidelines laid out by India’s Union Health Ministry.
Instances of sexual assault in India have been increasing gradually but steadily, with new rape cases being reported almost daily. Just as Indian officials are trying to reduce instances of rape, they should also ensure that adequate care is provided to victims post-assault. Your signature will condemn staff’s actions at the Cheluvamba Hospital, and demand that the government work to improve treatment of rape victims with better care and specialized areas.
Dear Dr. Harsh Vardhan,
A government run hospital in Mysore recently left a mentally challenged rape victim to wait naked on a hospital bed for three hours. The victim’s mother finally had to demand care before a doctor arrived to perform a crucial medical examination. Both the victim and her family were severely humiliated by the incident.
In a statement to the Women’s Council, hospital staff blamed the incident on a lack of resources. Without specialized areas and doctors to deal with this sort of issue, doctors claim that they had no choice.
While India is trying to combat growing instances of sexual assault, it is also important to ensure that hospitals and doctors have the means to properly care for victims. I ask that a review of the incident be conducted by the Union Health Ministry, and that any necessary changes are made to avoid similar mistreatment of victims in the future, whether it be further training for staff or additional facilities in hospitals.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Amber Dawn Pullin via Flickr Creative Commons