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India needs medical specialists in 'rape treatment and rehabilitation'
Here is the brief case of the deeply traumatized 13-year-old victim of gang-rape in Delhi, who has twice tried to commit suicide, once in the hospital itself. Reportedly, she was abducted by two men along with her brother, kept in captivity for nine days and was sexually assaulted and gang-raped by eight men repeatedly every day.

After her release from captivity, out of the eight accused, seven have so far been arrested. But, it seems that the mental trauma is so deep that she has not been able to recover. Unfortunately, in India, we do not have a set protocol for the rehabilitation of rape victims and are unable to maintain their privacy in a true sense.

In many other countries, along with the treatment for injuries received by the victims of sex crimes, there is a well-defined protocol to help victims recover from the trauma and restore their self-esteem and self-confidence. We need to understand that the rape crime injuries are multifaceted with its root causes existing at physical, mental and social level. We need to have specialists in 'rape treatment' and 'rape cure' in medical science.

According to Roxcy Bolton Rape Treatment Center, completely free services to the sex-crime victims need to be provided regardless of police involvement with comprehensive quality medical treatment and crisis counseling by a team of doctors, nurses, counselors and therapists who all should have been sensitively trained and certified to work with rape and other sex-crime victims. In addition, care-givers and school personnel should be involved in rebuilding the self-esteem and self-worth of the student victims.

According to PIB, Lok Sabha Speaker, Meira Kumar and the Union Minister for Culture,  Chandresh Kumari Katoch at the Seminar on “Gender Justice and Responsive Governance”, in New Delhi on March 08, 2013, had stressed the need to make it imperative to help the rape victims recover from the mental trauma and restore their self-confidence. Kumar had gone to extent of saying that there exist instances when it became difficult for the sex-crime victims to attend school or college due the social insensitivities of the institutions.

We need to understand that for a child sex-crime victim, battling deep mental trauma, low self-esteem, depression, or other abuse issues is an uphill task without a proper rehabilitation protocol and counseling. Even bad counseling and biased social attitudes can make the child victim to re-experience and re-navigate through the torturous gory details of the crime and consequent pain.

In India, we have become vocal for immediate arrest and harsh punishment for sex-criminals, but no one is talking about the proper rehabilitation protocol and 'rape treatment'. Government also tries to push the real issues under the carpet by giving monetary compensation to the victims' family or providing lip service.

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meira kumar
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