Bhopal: Rape victims need respect more than sympathy, union Health Minister Harsh vardhan said Monday.
"A woman who has been raped or subjected to sexual abuse needs more respect than sympathy. It is society`s responsibility that she is given justice and rehabilitation so that she can overcome her humiliation and move on," Harsh Vardhan said here.
"The psychological trauma of a battered woman is greater than the physical pain she undergoes in the aftermath of her being subjected to atrocities. So, it is absolutely unconditional that all those involved in advancing her medico-legal support are sensitised," he said.
Harsh Vardhan was speaking at a function of NGO representatives, health workers, officials and other professionals organized at a city hotel to mark the launch of a "One Stop Crisis Centre" (OSCC) under the aegis of the Jai Prakash Hospital, Bhopal, to provide support, care, treatment, security and legal advice to women who have been subjected to atrocities.
It is the country`s first single window service set up as part of the Madhya Pradesh government`s "Gauravi" Mahila Samman Evam Sangrakshan Abhiyaan.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and actor Aamir Khan were present on the occasion.
The health minister said a battered woman`s greatest agony in Indian system often begins in the police station or in the hospital because of callousness and insensitivity on the part of those responsible for her quest for justice and rehabilitation.
"I have personally interacted with the families of rape victims and seen their suffering at the hands of an insensitive system. During the first few hours following a rape, the protocol for giving medico legal assistance is callously broken," he said.
"As most of the victims are from poor backgrounds, they and their families are often not in a position to demand that the rules are adhered to. Most often they are not even aware of the protocol established under the law," the minister said.