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Having rape victims examined not easy, says doctor

Repeka Nasiko
Tuesday, December 05, 2017

EXAMINING rape victims is not an easy task, says Lautoka Hospital gynaecologist Dr Vasitia Talatoka Cati.

While speaking during a Sex Crimes in Fiji workshop in Lautoka over the weekend, she said it was important for doctors not to shy away from examining a sex crime survivor.

"At the hospital when a rape case has been presented, it usually is divided into pediatric cases and adult cases.

"Pediatric cases are usually below the age of 14, and above 14 we usually term as adult in a medical setting. If it is a pediatric case, the case is usually referred to a pediatrician for questioning, but if the pediatricians are not comfortable doing genital examinations this is where we as gynaecologists step in.

"Gynaecologists are called for the adult cases. I usually encourage our accidents and emergencies doctors to do an exam but if they are not comfortable then you should call us in."

She said survivors who needed examination had to be checked by a registered doctor within a 72-hour time frame.

"We need them to come in at the earliest time possible from the time the incident occurred.

"It tells us a lot about whether their claims are valid or not."

Dr Cati said after undergoing workshops on gender violence, doctors were more receptive to examining victims.

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