Men can be victims of sexual assault too, observes Kerala HC

Kochi:  The Kerala High Court on Wednesday observed that men too can be victims of sexual assault, not just women.

“Sexual assault is not confined to girls, it happens to boys also. It is rare but it is possible. I know that it is happening. But generally, we take care of women. Generally, 99 per cent of sexual assault victims, for some reason, are women,” the court orally observed while considering a petition by a doctor challenging a protocol followed in Kerala by which only gynaecologists, preferably women practitioners, are called to examine victims of sexual assault.

The court noted that the protocol is meant to support victims, which, in most cases, happen to be women or girls.

“I don’t know why you should be concerned. We are trying to give maximum support to the victim. It has nothing to do with you and everything to do with the victim,” it said.

The court then pointed out that victims of sexual assault could be men as well and further observed that there has been an increase in boys being victims in cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (Pocso Act).

“Here, you have assumed that the victims are women. You should have qualified that the victims you refer to are women victims alone. There are men, young boys being abused. I have seen a couple of cases recently. There are more boys in POCSO matters these days.

“You (petitioner-doctor) should take it as a social commitment. You should go even if you are called at night. You run and go if you are on call when you get money. I don’t find this protocol to be wrong but if there are any problems in the working of it, we can certainly iron it out,” the court said and posted the case’s next hearing for March 5.


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