A day after TNM published a detailed report based on the FIR in the case of the alleged rape of an IAF officer at the Air Force College in Coimbatore, the National Commission for Women released a statement condemning the use of the banned two-finger test that the survivor was allegedly subjected to during the medical examination at the Air Force Hospital after she reported the sexual assault to the authorities at the Air Force college.
In the statement, NCW said it was taking cognizance of the matter, and noted that it had read a media post where it got to know of the matter. Pointing out that the test made the survivor “relive the trauma” of the alleged sexual assault, the NCW said, “The National Commission for Women is utterly disappointed and strongly condemns the action of the Indian Air Force doctors conducting the banned two-finger test on the victim, thereby violating the Supreme Court’s decision and also violating the right to privacy and dignity of the victim.”
The NCW said its chairperson, Rekha Sharma, has also written to the Air Chief Marshal of the IAF to look into the matter and take required steps to educate officers about the government guidelines for medical examination.
The two-finger test is an unscientific method which attempts to gauge sexual assault by the laxity of vaginal muscles based on whether the woman is sexually active. However, a woman’s sexual history should have nothing to do with ascertaining if she has been sexually assaulted. The test was banned in the Criminal Amendment Act of 2013, which followed the Nirbhaya gangrape and murder in 2012. However, several reports in the last seven years have pointed out that the test is still done on sexual violence survivors despite the ban, and is retraumatizing as well as an invasive.
In the case of the woman IAF officer, her FIR stated that after she was allegedly sexually assaulted by her peer named Amitesh and informed the authorities. Not only was she allegedly subjected to the two-finger test, but also asked about her past sexual history. The survivor has also made serious allegations of intimidation and harassment as well as callous attitude of the IAF officers at the college who allegedly tried to dissuade and discourage her from reporting the matter officially.
Read TNM’s detailed report here: Two-finger test done, intimidated: Rape survivor’s grim allegations against Air Force