£8.5m to improve sex crime services
The Scottish Government have announced £8.5million in funding to improve forensic medical examinations and other health services for victims of rape and sexual assault.
This f inancia l year, £2.5million will go towards recruiting staff, training and building facilities.
The remaining £6million will be split equally between 2019-20 and 2020-21.
It will help ensure standards introduced last year – including stopping victims having forensic medical examinations in police stations – are reached.
Rape Crisis Scotland said these changes are “welcome but long overdue” but added Scotland still has a long way to go to achieve a nationwide minimum standard.
The cash will support the Government’s rape and sexual assault victims taskforce, set up following a critical report on the quality and availability of forensic medical services.
HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland found significant variations across the country, with some “unacceptable”.
Some victims faced long journeys for examinations and, in some cases, were asked not to wash for a day or more after an assault.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “I want to see compassionate healthcare and support should be as close as possible to the point of need.
“Our taskforce are driving improvement in this area and they are on track with their five-year plan.”