Doctor urges survivors of sexual assault undergo medical exam soon after to preserve evidence

Physician Bakhtiar Rashid speaks during NRT’s Besnur program on September 23, 2020 (NRT Digital Media/Screenshot)

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SULAIMANI — Physician Bakhtiar Rashid has revealed that Sulaimani Health Directorate’s Forensic Medicine Department in Sulaimani has performed 170 medical examinations for suspected sexual assault since the beginning of 2020.

During an interview on NRT’s Besnur program that aired on Wednesday (September 23), Rashid said that there was clear physical evidence that a physical violation had taken place in just under 30 percent of the cases.

He called on survivors of assault to come forward for an exam as soon as possible in order to preserve forensic evidence, noting that social pressure can prevent people from seeking out care following instances of abuse.

Rashid also stressed that, although most of those who underwent exams were female, a number of males also did so. Children as young as four-years-old were examined by forensic doctors in the governorate.

(NRT Digital Media)