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I had virginity tests from 13 to 18, my parents made me – I was terrified, it made me feel dirty & scared of sex


FOR five years Samya* was subjected to regular ‘virginity tests’ under the insistence of her own parents – having her first when she was just 13-years-old. The ‘two-finger-test’ was intended to prove Samya’s innocence and ‘worth’ to potential husbands, but it just left her feeling dirty. Sadly Samya isn’t the only under-age girl being subjected […]

FOR five years Samya* was subjected to regular ‘virginity tests’ under the insistence of her own parents – having her first when she was just 13-years-old.

The ‘two-finger-test’ was intended to prove Samya’s innocence and ‘worth’ to potential husbands, but it just left her feeling dirty.

Getty - Contributor
Samya was forced to have a virginity test every year from the age of 13 to the age of 18[/caption]

Sadly Samya isn’t the only under-age girl being subjected to regular tests, with a BBC investigation finding that 21 UK clinics are offering the examination.

The £150 – £300 test is an inspection of the female genitalia meant to determine whether a woman or girl has had vaginal intercourse and so prove her ‘honour’. 

But it has no scientific merit – the presence or lack of a hymen is not really evidence that sex has taken place. It could break during a fall.

For 24-year-old woman Samya, the tests were presented as just a part of growing up but in reality they had a much darker side.

Getty - Contributor
She says the test left her feeling “dirty” and found the tests traumatic[/caption]

“My family are from Egypt and we moved here when I was eight,” she says.

“In our religion, virgins are regarded as being of a higher social value, a better worth. There is pressure on women not to have sex before we get married. We are we are ruined if we have intercourse before our wedding night and that no man will want us.

“Of course, it is hard to prove. My family wanted me to wed a man who had been quite high up in the military in Egypt. 

“It was arranged from when I was very young but on the agreement that I was still a virgin on our wedding night.

“He told them he wanted evidence and so my parents took me to a doctor in London and asked her to perform the test. She did it every year from when I was around 13 until I was married at 18.

“I had never sex so I was not worried about the results, but at the time I remember being very scared of having it done. I was very young. 

I feared that being touched in that way would affect me. I felt dirty.


“I did not understand why a doctor needed to touch me down there. I knew one or two friends who had been through it, so just assumed it was one of those things us girls have to go through.

“I just went along with it as my parents asked me to. I know they only wanted the best for me. Now when I look back, I wish that I had objected. It was a very traumatic test and I struggled afterwards.

“I feared that being touched in that way would affect me. I felt dirty. What would have happened if they did it wrong and I had failed the test?

“In recent years, I tried to trace the doctor who did the test and I planned to report what happened, but she is no longer in the same place.”

Samya was married at 18 and moved briefly back to Egypt, but after two years she separated from her husband and now lives back in the UK and is a mum to a daughter herself.

“It was not a good marriage,” she explains. 

“My husband was very controlling of me. I put up with it for a long time as I did not want to bring shame on my family. But in the end, my parents let me move back to England and I lived with them. I do not talk to them about what happened but I think they know it was wrong to put a young girl through that test.

Last year rapper TI revealed that he takes his daughter to have the tests every year[/caption]

“When my own daughter is grown, I would not put her through such an ordeal. It has taken me a long time to understand the trauma of what I went through. It affected my sex life for many years.

“My new partner arranged me for me to see a counsellor and I am still working through what happened.

“I find it sad that this is something that is still happening in the UK and around the world. We must work together to put an end to this. No other girl should go through what I went through. They will live with the pain for life.”

Dr Meghan Campbell is deputy director of the Oxford Human Rights Hub and a law lecturer at Birmingham University. She said the extent to which virginity testing goes on in the UK is unknown.

“It’s obviously more pronounced in certain parts of the world than in others, but due to the deep stigma around virginity testing in jurisdictions like the UK it can be difficult to to know exactly where and when it’s happening,” she says. 

“In some countries it’s flying under the radar, but the World Health Organization has found that thanks to globalisation it is happening in the UK and other Western countries such as Canada, Spain and the Netherlands.

It has taken me a long time to understand the trauma of what I went through. It affected my sex life for many years


“One of the things that makes it difficult to get precise data is the social stigma around virginity testing. Women and girl have to admit that it has happened to them and that can be traumatic in itself. Or people have to say they forced someone else to do it, or performed it. On the whole, women, girls and the larger community just don’t speak about it. 

“There was a similar culture of silence around FGM , but that is being talked about more openly now and there are more civil society organisations based in the UK to support women and girls in the UK who have experienced FGM . It would be good to see the same level of support for women and girls who experience virginity testing . Survivors need to know they can get help. 

“There is not a lot of data on the prevalence of virginity testing in the UK it.”

Dr Campbell said virginity testing is a gross violation of a woman’s right to equality. 

“It reinforces stereotypes that a woman’s moral worth is exclusively connected to sexual activity,” she said. “It perpetuates the belief that women’s bodies are something that can be policed and controlled and that women are objects. 

 “It also grossly undermines a woman’s access to healthcare. Your relationship with your doctor or healthcare provider should be one of trust. The relationship changes if they are looking to prove you are still a virgin and your confidentiality is breached if they report to someone else about your health status.” 

The World Health Organization Report from 2018 notes that the test appears to be most established in Asia and the Middle. East, countries in northern and southern Africa and more recently it’s been practised in some immigrant groups in Europe and North America. 

We must work together to put an end to this. No other girl should go through what I went through


“It is happening in Afghanistan, where virginity testing is being used as evidence if a woman is accused of a sex or moral crime such as having sex before being married,” Dr Campbell explains. “It’s used in parts of South Africa. It has been used in Asia, the Middle East, Northern and Southern Africa. It’s been used in religious communities around the world to prove purity before marriage.”

The test is not medically accurate.

“There is no scientifically accurate way to prove if someone has or hasn’t had sex for the first time so anyone doing this test is looking for evidence that may not exist,” she says. 

Campaigners have called it a gross violation of women’s rights as it reinforces stereotypes that a woman’s body and sexuality can be controlled.

In 2019 rapper TI sparked outrage when he announced that he takes his daughter for the test every year, which he later claimed was a joke.

Following the announcement, Kumi Naidoo, Secretary-General of the human rights charity Amnesty International, tweeted: “Forced virginity testing is an invasive exam promoting the unscientific belief that it shows if a woman has had sex.

“This is gender discrimination and reinforces patriarchal power relations. In case we need reminding, a woman’s body belongs to no-one but her.”

*Names have been changed

In other real life, we looked at the rise of gossip platforms as figures reveal half of women experience abuse online.

And this mum spent £17,000 on breast implants but they made her so sick she thought she was going to die.

Plus this woman was rushed to hospital with no pulse, blind & dying – a TAMPON caused toxic shock syndrome but she thought it was the flu.

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