Health Secretary Sajid Javid has vowed to make ‘virginity testing’ illegal as part of a clampdown on violence against women.
Mr Javid said the ‘dark ages’ practice – checking for an intact hymen on the flawed basis that its absence is the result of intercourse – would be made a criminal offence ‘at the earliest opportunity’.
He added: ‘This Government is committed to protecting the safety and wellbeing of women and girls, and I am proud to say we have taken an important step forwards. As part of the new Violence Against Women and Girls strategy, we announced we would make virginity testing illegal.
Sajid Javid said the ‘dark ages’ practice – checking for an intact hymen on the flawed basis that its absence is the result of intercourse – would be made a criminal offence ‘at the earliest opportunity’ [File photo]
‘We will also ensure anyone carrying out so-called virginity testing will be prosecuted with the full weight of the law. This practice is abusive and predicated on a dark-age prejudice about what it means to be a virgin. Virginity testing has no scientific standing.
‘I’ve heard first-hand the impact these tests can have on women and girls’ physical, psychological and social wellbeing. It is abhorrent and violates their human rights.’
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