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New report on forensic provision for victims of sexual crime in Scotland

New report on forensic provision for victims of sexual crime in Scotland

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland has today published its report on provision of services for forensic examinations across Scotland for victims of sexual crime.

This report says that services for rape victims across Scotland are unacceptable.

In response, the Scottish Government has announced the establishment of an implementation group, chaired by the Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, to take forward improvements to the provision of health services for victims of rape and sexual assault.

Rape Crisis Scotland has had significant concerns for some time about the response to the immediate needs of people in Scotland who have been raped or sexually assaulted. The least we should be able to offer someone who has just been through the trauma of rape is an examination by a female doctor in a suitable environment, with appropriate follow up to address their health and support needs. This is not currently available for most rape survivors in Scotland. We welcome today's announcement of the new implementation group, and hope that it will lead to meaningful change in how we respond to people across Scotland who have been raped or sexually assaulted.

Scotland's response to rape survivors must be more than a post code lottery.

To meet the needs of people who have survived this traumatic experience our response must be coordinated and comprehensive, and critically it must accommodate for the diversity of Scotland's population and landscape, from the remote Scottish Islands to central Edinburgh or Glasgow. This needs to be fully costed and resourced.

No matter where someone lives in Scotland they should be able to expect a basic level of service. Almost four years after the approval of the minimum standards on the provision of forensic examinations, it's time for them to become a reality.