The woman IAF Officer, who was raped by a colleague, said she had to relive the trauma when subjected to the ‘Two Finger Test’. In her police complaint, the officer also said that she was questioned about her "sexual history".
The woman IAF Officer, who was raped by a colleague, said she had to relive the trauma when subjected to the ‘Two Finger Test’. In her police complaint, the officer also said that she was questioned about her “sexual history”.
The medical officers at the IAF academy conducted the two-finger test that is illegal. The rape survivor also added that she was intimidated and discouraged from filing an official complaint about the incident.
She added that the attitude of some of the IAF officers was to force her into withdrawing the complaint!
The woman who had travelled to the Air Force College for training said the assault took place two weeks ago inside her room at the Air Force Administrative College.
She says she sustained an ankle injury on the evening of September 9 and was given a painkiller. Later that evening she went to the Officers Mess Bar’ along with her fellow mates where she had two drinks, one of which the alleged culprit (a 29-year-old flight lieutenant) had insisted on paying for.
After having the drink she started feeling nauseous and vomited. Two of her peers took her to her room and put her to bed. She stated the alleged culprit came to her room and tried to wake her up several times. She told him that she wanted to sleep and he should leave.
She was woken up the next day by one of her friends who asked her why that male officer had been there in her room and whether he was there consensually. The friend further suspected that he had sexually assaulted the survivor based on what she saw. The survivor realised, based on her friend’s account of what she saw and on seeing physical evidence of what had transpired that she had been sexually assaulted.
When she confronted him, he allegedly apologised and said she could take “any action against him” if she wanted to.
The survivor and her friend approached their seniors. However instead of offering support and recording the complaint, the wing commander said that the woman should think about her family and their reputation.
The alleged rape took place about two weeks ago and the officer said she was forced to go to the police because she was not satisfied with action taken by the IAF after her original complaint.
The victim has also alleged that the institute’s authorities attempted to tamper with the evidence and losing all hope she finally lodged a complaint with the police.
The complainant then went to the Commissioner’s office on September 20. “I now stand firm on my decision to fight against the atrocities of the authorities and the freedom of my rapist.”
The survivor also stated in her police complaint that it was traumatizing for her to see the alleged culprit attend class every day, roaming around and telling others what he had done.
As per the FIR (FIR) lodged by Tamil Nadu Police on September 20 the victim’s statement mentions the sequence of events, “She was raped on campus at Air Force Administrative College in Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu. Not only that, but she also said that college officials told her that if she could bear the pain of an ankle injury (which she suffered hours before the alleged crime), she could also deal with the pain of seeing her rapist on campus.”
The IAF has refused to comment on the allegations as the matter is subjudice and they are conducting an internal inquiry.
The alleged culprit who is a Flight Lieutenant was arrested and sent to judicial custody for offence under Section 376 (punishment for rape) under the IPC on Sep 26. “IAF authorities requested us not to lodge him in jail. We asked them to approach the court as the matter is subjudice,” a police officer was quoted as saying.
The two-finger test also known as the PV (Per Vaginal) refers to an intrusive physical examination of a woman’s vagina to figure out the laxity of vaginal muscles and whether the hymen is distensible (able to stretch) or not.
In this, the doctor puts two fingers inside the woman’s vagina and the ease with which the fingers penetrate her are assumed to be in direct proportion to her sexual experience.
The two-finger test was banned by the Supreme Court eight years ago in 2013, though it has often been reported that the practice continues. “The test was banned because not only does it violate a survivor’s right to privacy, but also because it is unscientific and tends to be used as evidence in court to shame the survivor of previous sexual history.
The use of the two finger test on the alleged rape victim has triggered a widespread outrage and raised questions about unscientific practices and violating the victim’s right to privacy.
On social media, organizations and individual are saying that the officers who conducted this banned test should be held accountable and they need to lose their license.
Should we be proud as a country if this is happening at an organization like the Indian Air Force? It seems that the system values the accused more than the victim.
The survivor has said she was made to submit a withdrawal of her complaint letter and another time she was asked to sign a letter with changes made however she refused to sign. The survivor fought gas-lighting and coercion to stand by her statement! This incident is a witness to why women are reluctant and they don’t come forward to report rape cases.
The rape cases that are reported are just the tip of a massive iceberg. I don’t think we are ready to face the actual numbers!
The respect we give women shouldn’t be based on the condition of their hymen. Change can only be brought when we recognize that old practices are obsolete and eliminate them.
Image source: Pexels
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