Recently group raping in several cities of Gujarat opened the eyes of many. Newspapers filled its papers with all discussions, victims information etc. The talk was going on everywhere. Some cursed the government and laziness of police department.
Now, we have an in-detailed article on this subject from the prominent Sexologist & Infertility Specialist, Dr. Paras Shah.
“Rape” – the word itself conjures up horrifying scenes and terrifying images. I had seen rape in our Hindi films and really had no first hand experience in dealing with rape victims. My earliest exposure to these rape victims was when I was doing my internship in Obste – Gynaec.
These patients were brought to the department by the police constables for gynaec checkup and for the swabs (i.e. fluid examination) from the vagina to be taken. As a doctor all we had to do was take their history of alleged rape, give them a cursory checkup and inform senior doctor who would come and examine these patients. We had to write findings which went something like this nail marks on breast, hymen torn, cervix and uterus normal etc. etc.
We took the swab, labeled it and handed it over to the constable accompanying the victim. That was the end of it all. My involvement remained impersonal and I went on to another patient, never giving thought to what trauma the patient was undergoing.
After some years with a sudden force the harsh reality of the dirty word RAPE struck me. Till then I had not imagined to what length a man can go to satisfy his lust.
Around 11.00 p.m. when I was just planning to retire after a long day, I received a call from my resident on duty that they had received a one and half years old girl who was a rape victim. I could not believe my ears, was she really one and half years old victim? I rushed to the department.
She was a terrified innocent girl, huddled in her mother’s lap – all of 18 months old coming, from nearby village. On the same day morning she was taken away by a man from her house, enticing her with some sweets. He took her to a field and performed the dastardly act. The girl was found in the field by her father after some hours. He reported the incident to the police. The police took the girl to the nearby CHC from where she was referred to our hospital.
Reassuring and cajoling her failed to bring the girl in the examination room. She was so frightened that she refused to budge from her mother’s lap. I gave her a quick general examination, which except for some scratches over the upper arm and shoulder was otherwise normal. It was not possible to examine her locally without anesthesia. There were just a few drops of dried blood around the private parts. There was no active so ooze so I scheduled a thorough examination under anesthesia for the next morning.
Next morning, we took the little girl on the operation table. She was given full anesthesia. On examination her whole vagina was torn and the sphincter around the anal opening through which stool comes out had also given away.
In his attempt to penetrate the little girl, the man had ruptured the upper part of the vagina (which is very small in such a young girl) and the abdominal cavity was entered. Through this opening the loops of intestines were seen about to come out.
We pushed the intestines and sutured the upper part of the vagina. The complete perennial tear was left as it is, to be sutured after some days as there was some infection in the wound. The little girl was shifted to gynaec word. She was exception in the ward where most of the patients were old ladies coming for hysterectomy. It took 4-5 days for the wound to get healthy. The perineal tear was then sutured. After the second operation the girl stayed with us for another 10 days, during which her physical wounds healed. But I wondered what about the mental wounds? Perhaps the girl was too small to even understand this incident.
This gruesome incident forced me to think how that man could have done this to such a little girl. What could have led him to resort to this? He had to be inhuman. Recollecting this incident still brings to me vividly the little girls’ smiling face each day morning on my rounds. I never failed to offer a small chocolate each day to her. She would look up each morning; all radiant oblivious of what had happened to her.
RAPE is a horrifying experience and needs to be condemned by the society. The culprits should be caught and given the harshest of punishment. More than this victim needs all the support from the society.
Many women who have experienced rape or sexual abuse have lot of psychological problems in later times. They have difficulty with intimate relationships. These problems can persist for many years and can seriously affect sexual functioning along with non-sexual behavior – a woman may doubt her own self-worth, lose self-esteem, or fear emotional intimacy. These women have an inability to trust other people and shut down their feelings of affection. We need to help these women in whatever small way it is possible. Remember RAPE is a heinous crime and it is the duty of the entire society to rehabilitate a rape victim and see that she is readjusted to the society.
Dr Paras Shah
Chief Consultant Sexologist & Infertility Specialist