Pakistan virginity tests block justice for rape victims

Pakistan remains a deeply conservative nation yet there are signs of mounting anger over the handling of sexual abuse cases, among which was the recent gang-rape of a mother in front of her children on a motorway, which sparked nationwide protests, including in Lahore. – AFP pic, January 13, 2021.

RAPED at 14, Shazia took the rare and courageous step of reporting the crime to Pakistani police, only to face a traumatic “virginity test” – a long-standing practice that denies justice to victims.

The teenager was still in a daze after she was assaulted by her father’s cousin when police forced her to see a doctor, who conducted the invasive medical exam intended to determine whether she had a history of having sex.

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