India: How to Respond to Sexual Violence for People with Disabilities

This is a guide for people with disabilities. In India, if you experience sexual abuse (bad touch) or rape, the police, hospital, and courts are supposed to help you. These are your rights. It is wrong for someone to touch you when you don’t want them to. It is wrong for someone to touch your private parts or make you touch theirs if you don’t want to. It is wrong for someone to kiss you when you don’t want to. If this happens, tell someone you trust. The person can be stopped from touching or hurting you again, and they can be punished. At the police station: You can file a report at a police station or another location that feels safe to you. Take someone you trust with you to the police. You can have a sign language interpreter or special educator, someone trained to help you tell your story. You can have your story recorded on video. You can pick out the person who hurt you in a way that you are able to, like by hearing their voice if you are blind or have low vision. At the hospital: If someone has hurt you or touched your private parts when you didn’t want them to, you can get free medical care right away. At the hospital, the doctor must ask you if it is okay to examine you and touch you. You can say no. You can ask for a female doctor. If she’s not available, you can have a female health worker and a person you trust in the room. You can ask for information in a way that you can understand. If you need more help, you can ask for a special educator. In court: You can tell a judge about what happened to you in a courtroom without the public or the media present. You can tell the judge if you need help from someone like a sign language interpreter or a special educator. Your lawyer should ask the court to give you compensation. You can get compensation even if the person who hurt you is not caught. If someone does bad things to you, you can get help.

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