Virginity testing is becoming increasingly common in the UK. Not only is the practice itself invasive and traumatic, but its very existence is a potential tool in abusers’ armoury which they use to subjugate women.
Freedom Charity is pleased to announce virginity testing and hymenoplasty is now a criminal offence.
It is a means of control and is especially damaging because there are many varied reasons why a girl’s hymen may become damaged before they become sexually active. One victim known to Freedom Charity has described virginity testing as a “violation” and “sexual assault”.
Freedom Charity has been instrumental in raising both governmental and public awareness of this abusive practice and welcomes the proposed introduction of law which leads to these practices becoming criminal offences and future perpetrators being brought to justice.
Our helpline has received an increasing number of requests for help about virginity testing. Typically the girls are made to have the tests by relatives wishing to present them as virgins who will bleed when they have sex on their wedding night – even though studies have shown such bleeding is not routine. Grooms’ families are becoming more demanding and saying, ‘I know someone who has had a certificate, I want proof that this girl is a virgin.’