Controversial Two-Finger Test For Rape Survivors Banned In Punjab
Punjab government on Friday presented a notification to Lahore High Court (LHC) banning the controversial and invasive two-finger test for rape survivors.
The notification outlined separate procedures to conduct medical examinations of rape and sexual violence survivors for girls, virgins and non virgins.
The notification stated that the medico-legal examination of a female survivor could only be held on the judicial order according to the Women Protection Act 2006, after obtaining the written consent of the victim or the guardian of the victim if under 18.
The examination could only be performed by an authorised women medical officer or board under section 299-C of Pakistan Penal Code.
The survivors or their guardians will also be able to refuse the examination. However they will not be denied the treatment to the survivor after the sexual violence according to the Injured Persons Act, 2004.
Two finger test has been banned in the examination, however the examination of victims’ genitalia could be conducted as per the rules.
These rules will be implemented at all public hospitals.
Two finger test had been ruled out by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on the grounds that it has no medical bases.
During the test, two fingers are inserted in the genitalia of a victim to determine her sexual activity.
A group of women had filed a petition in Lahore High Court against the two finger test on 12 March, 2020.
The petition stated that the test was an inaccurate way of testing the rape and they are an “extreme invasion of women’s privacy and bodily integrity”.
The petition had also asked to stop using phrases such as “habituated to sex”, “easy virtue” and “lose morals” while referring to the victims.
The ministry of human rights had told the court on 14 October that two fingers test is a violation of human rights and to the constitutional right to dignity of women guaranteed by the article 14 of constitution.