Satyamev Jayate - Jinhe Desh Ki Fikr Hai

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One-Stop Rape Crisis Centres

One-Stop Crisis Centres for Survivors of Rape and Sexual Assault

Petition by Satyamev Jayate
To: Prime Minister of India, Union Home Minister, Chief Ministers and State Home Ministers
Region: India

Background: In December 2012, following the horrific gangrape of a 23-year-old in a moving bus in Delhi, the Justice Usha Mehra Commission was set up to suggest measures to improve women’s safety. The commission, in February 2013, recommended the setting up of one-stop crisis centres for survivors of rape and sexual assault. These centres are to be set up in designated hospitals.

This centre should ideally have a gynaecologist or a medical expert (preferably a woman); a trained police officer of the rank of inspector or above (also preferably a woman); a woman counsellor or a representative of a concerned NGO; a forensic expert; and a qualified nurse, so that a survivor of rape and sexual assault can be properly examined in one place. A judicial or metropolitan magistrate should also called immediately to record the survivor’s statement in order to enable swift action and speedy justice.

Petition: It has been over a year since the Justice Usha Mehra Commission submitted its recommendations. The Centre has issued directions to the Government of Delhi and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. No substantive or effective on-ground development has taken place in most states.

We urge and request that one-stop crisis centres be set up in designated hospitals across the country as soon as possible to improve the institutional response towards survivors of rape and sexual assault. This petition will be sent to the Prime Minister, Union Home Minister, Chief Ministers as well as State Home Ministers.

Your signature will help make this change possible.

Special Courtrooms for Survivors of Rape

Special Courtrooms for Survivors of Rape and Sexual Assault

Petition by Satyamev Jayate
To: Chief Justices of all High Courts
Region: India

Background: The trauma that a survivor of rape goes through is heightened when she is made to confront the accused in court and recount the horrific details of the assault. This leads to further victimization, sometimes intimidation, and in many cases survivors turn hostile, leading to acquittals of the accused.

In 2013, as part of the Vulnerable Witness Project, the Delhi High Court created the Vulnerable Witness Deposition Complex, a special courtroom at the Karkardooma Court Complex, where survivors can testify in a safe and secure environment. This can be done via a video link from a separate room near the courtroom in a way that the survivor never has to confront the accused, who is denied entry into this room.

In case the survivor wishes to testify before the judge, the accused is moved to a room adjacent to the courtroom with a one-way viewing glass that allows him to see and hear the proceedings. He is provided with an audio link so that he can give instructions to his lawyer.

Petition: We, the undersigned, urge and request that special courtrooms be set up across all states at the earliest, along the lines of the Vulnerable Witness Deposition Complex in Delhi. This online signature petition will be sent to chief justices of all High Courts in the country. It is time that this long-overdue provision be made available for survivors of rape and sexual assault across India.

Your signature can help bring about this change.

Gender-Sensitive Healthcare Response

A Gender-Sensitive Healthcare Response to Survivors of Rape and Sexual Assault

Petition by Satyamev Jayate
To: Union and State Health Ministers
Region: India

Background: Rape and sexual assault have serious health consequences on a survivor. Besides the psychological trauma of the assault, a survivor may have suffered physical injuries, contracted sexually transmitted infections or even be at the risk of an unwanted pregnancy.

It is essential that she receives sensitive and humane treatment when she goes to any public or private hospital. However, the medical examination in India has been found to be invasive, insensitive and re-traumatizing. Its focus is invariably on the collection of medico-legal evidence, often ineffectively, and not on helping the survivor recover physically and emotionally.

Many examining doctors still perform the archaic 'two-finger test', which involves the insertion of two fingers into the vaginal opening to determine the presence or absence of the hymen and by extension, the survivor's virginity or 'habituation to sex'. This is, without doubt, an intrusive procedure that has been proved to be unscientific and irrelevant in determining whether rape or sexual assault has occurred. Further, doctors often interpret the presence of physical injuries as an indication of assault; however, in most cases, survivors do not have visible physical injuries.

Given this situation, civil society organizations have been lobbying for a gender-sensitive and comprehensive healthcare response to survivors of rape and sexual assault across India. In view of this, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has appointed a committee to frame a set of guidelines. Though the committee finalized these guidelines in December 2013, they have yet to be implemented.

Petition: We, the undersigned, urge and request that a gender-sensitive protocol for the medical examination of rape survivors is uniformly implemented across India. Survivors must receive physical treatment that is prompt, efficient and scientific, and psychological help that is non-judgemental and helps the survivor overcome the trauma of the assault. This signature petition will be sent to the Union and State Health Ministers.

Your participation can help strengthen this cause.


(Please select a petition and fill in your details to sign it. You can also select multiple petitions at a time).

Every district in India must have a One Stop Rape Crisis Centre. Pledge to support Satyamev Jayate's fight against rape by signing and sharing this petition.

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