Two-finger test and the medical process followed after rape!
While the Delhi Government has expressed its inability to ban the “two-finger test” conducted on rape survivors, it is important to know what is it actually and why it is so dreaded by women.
The two-finger test also known as “Per Vaginal (PV) Examination” or simply the test of woman's virginity is conducted by medical practitioners on those women who have lodged a complaint of rape and have reported of bleeding or discharge after rape or sexual assault.
Immediately after reporting, the victim is taken to a female medical practitioner. The lady doctor starts with questions related to general health. Then she moves on to questions related to victim's menstrual history and contraception. Finally, the sufferer is questioned on the incident. She is asked about the specific details of the incident – from injuries and bruises to the level of final contact.
Though recalling the entire incident in itself is too distressing, yet the details are collected for the later legal proceedings. If required, then the bruises and injuries are even photographed, because while the case would proceed, the injuries would tend to heal.
The victim, if having any kind of vaginal discharge or if recommended by the doctor, is then taken for the “two-finger test”.
The horrendous medical examination termed no-less-than-rape is conducted to test whether the lady in question has had sexual intercourse before (the sexual assault or rape) and if she is habituated to it.
While conducting the test, a doctor inserts two fingers in the vagina of the victim to check the laxity of vaginal muscles. By doing so, the doctor also checks if the hymen of the woman is already ruptured or not.
The practice, though unethical, is widely followed by the doctors. It is assumed that the hymen can only rupture due to sexual intercourse. (Though, in actual it can rupture due to exertion, strenuous physical exercise or some injury also).
In case, from the insertion it is found that the woman is already habitual of sex then she can even be doubted to have consented to the contact. In simple words, in the first instance, the lady is doubted to have allowed the intercourse if she is found habitual of intercourse and her hymen is also ruptured.
This is the reason, why the test in itself is so dreaded, as the distressed rape survivor having undergone the horrendous crime, is later doubted to have consented to the intercourse.