New Delhi: Delhi’s Lok Nayak Hospital has come up with a unique protocol that helps male survivors of sexual assault so as to help them cope with the trauma.
Due to the social ostracization that comes with sexual assault and the fact that men are considered less macho in many patriarchal structures if they have been raped, male survivors often don’t tend to reveal their issues at all.
And added to that is the ridiculous ‘boys don’t cry’ and ‘mard ko dard nahi hota’ narrative.
To this regard, One Stop Centres – started in the aftermath of the Nirbhaya gangrape – will be used to check-up on and counsel male survivors of assault, said the medical director of Lok Nayak Hospital, Dr J C Passey
“If there is a need for swab collection or surgery, the male survivors are referred to paediatric or general surgery depending on their age,” Passey said.
While the older people are referred to the general surgery department, those under the age of 16 are sent for paediatric surgery.
Dr Y K Sarin, the head of the paediatric surgery department at the hospital states that they tend to receive around two to four cases of sexual assault cases involving boys per year.
“Most of them do not have severe physical injury, but they are traumatised. They need extensive counselling. Also, swabs have to be collected for forensics examination,” he added.
Because cases involving male survivors are reported so occasionally, doctors do not know how to deal with the patients most of the time.
“Forensics department should be involved for examining such patients. If paediatric surgery department has to handle them, even then there is need for training doctors on how to collect swabs,” Sarin added, according to the paper.
In 2017, eight cases of children being sodomised in schools were reported in Delhi. The ministry of women and child welfare, supported by United Nations Children’s Fund, Save the Children and Prayas found that 53.22% children face one or more forms of sexual abuse.
The number of boys abused was reportedly 52.94%.
“Patriarchy is oppressing male children and acts as a barrier to seek psychiatric help in collaborative child response unit,” a study published in Indian Journal of Psychiatry found.
“Forensics examination is required to document the injuries and form an opinion for investigation purpose,” said Dr Sudhir Gupta, professor and head of forensic medicine at AIIMS.