To equip healthcare providers who are handling cases of sexual violence and enable them to provide care and rehabilitative services more confidently and correctly, which would also serve towards providing justice to the survivors of sexual violence, the Goa State Commission for Protection of Child Rights organised an orientation for medicos on providing medico-legal care for victims of sexual assault.
Peter F Borges, Chairperson, Goa State Commission for Protection of Child Rights
Dr Andre Fernandes, Head of Department; Dr Mandar P Kantak, Associate Professor; and Dr Sheryl Soares E Mesquita, Assistant Lecturer, Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Goa Medical College, covered the provision of comprehensive care, including consent, history taking and documentation, medical examination and treatment, and deposition in the court to present this medical evidence properly and in a timely manner to the court, psycho-social support and rehabilitation.
“It was brought to the notice of the Commission by stakeholders in the justice system that the medical opinions and reports are left wanting and fall short in court during trial,” says Peter F Borges, Chairperson, Goa State Commission for Protection of Child Rights.
He continues, “To set right this issue, this training was organised in collaboration with the Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology to orient doctors to respond to child victims of sexual violence in a more humane and case-specific manner. Preventing and responding to abuse and sexual violence requires a continuous multi-sectoral and multifaceted approach, and strengthening the medico-legal response is an important part.”
Decentralisation of medico-legal services and engaging more registered medical practitioners were suggested to improve the ecosystem of medico-legal care. The Goa SCPCR will conduct more organised training sessions for registered medical practitioners.