Charities and government unite to make forensic examination less intrusive
RAPE CRISIS SCOTLAND (RCS) have welcomed a move by the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland to encourage more female doctors to take part in forensic examinations for victims of sexual offences.
NHS Education for Scotland (NES) and the Scottish Government have been persuaded by the evidence provided by charities and health bodies which showed that victims of sexual crimes prefer to interact with female doctors.
The news follows the begining of the United Nations’ 16 Days of Activism campaign to eradicate violence against women, taking place between 25 November and 10 December.
“We are very supportive of the new survey, and the efforts being made by the government to improve immediate responses to rape survivors.” Sandy Brindley
Sandy Brindley, national coordinator for RCS, said: “Rape survivors consistently tell us how difficult they find it being examined by a male doctor in the immediate aftermath of being raped. The least we should be able to offer in these circumstances is an examination by a female doctor.
“We are very supportive of the new survey, and the efforts being made by the government to improve immediate responses to rape survivors.”
In this parliament, the Scottish Government has also confirmed its commitment to bringing forward a specific Domestic Abuse bill which will make it easier for coercive violence within relationships to be prosecuted. As part of what it calls a “comprehensive package”, it has also promised an additional investment of £20m over three years on top of the £11.8m already committed annually, to fund a range of measures tackling all forms of sexual violence, including domestic abuse.
Professor Stewart Irvine, medical director of NES, said: “We are pleased to contribute to this important piece of work and look forward to working with Scottish Government to improve the situation for victims of sexual assault.
“We hope our survey of female doctors will help us to identify any possible barriers so that appropriate steps can be taken to support a greater gender balance in doctors carrying out examinations."
Picture courtesy of The Scottish Government
Check out what people are saying about how important CommonSpace is. Pledge your support today.