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Medico-Legal Update
Year : 2010, Volume : 10, Issue : 2

Print ISSN : 0971-720X. Online ISSN : 0974-1283.

Colposcopic examination in rape victims: A review

Kaur Navpreet*Assistant Professor, Singh Baljeet*Professor & Head, Batra APS**Associate Professor, Dhattarwal SK***Professor, Sharma Sita R****Associate Professor

* Department of Forensic Medicine, SGRDIMSAR, Amritsar.

** Department of Anatomy, SGRDIMSAR, Amritsar.

*** Department of Forensic Medicine, PGIMSRohtak (Haryana).

**** Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, SGRDIMSAR, Amritsar.


Sexual assault is a heinous crime which goes unreported in majority of the cases due to the physical as well as the mental trauma associated with it. Medical examination is an essential step for collection of forensic evidence to be presented in court later on in order to prove the charge of rape. Colposcope is used nowadays as both a medical as well as a forensic tool. In the setting of a forensic examination following rape, colposcopy allows practitioners to identify and photograph genital injury not readily visible to the unaided eye, thereby clarifying the location and extent of injury as well as providing evidence for court proceedings. The use of colposcopy in the diagnosis of sexual abuse of children and adult victims of sexual assault has been upheld by the appellate court of California (Mendibles) and its use is described as being non-experimental and its findings are accepted by the courts to be conclusive of the sexual assault. In India, use of colposcope to examine rape victims is not very prevalent yet. This article is an attempt to review the advantages of colposcopic examination over conventional examination of the rape victim so that colposcopy can become a routine procedure in the examination of rape victims in India also.


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