Scott: Forensic standards must recognise island circumstances

Shetland MSP Tavish Scott today called for new national forensic standards to recognise island circumstances.

Tavish received an assurance from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon that the Scottish Government would invest in medical equipment and specialist training to ensure victims of sexual assault can be assisted in the islands rather than being forced to travel to the Scottish mainland for medical examinations.

Commenting Mr Scott said:

“Today’s announcement of the introduction of new standards is welcome. But there are significant challenges to be overcome in helping sexual assault victims.

“Rape Crisis Shetland have made warnings that the prospect of travelling to the mainland is preventing survivors from coming forward and getting the justice they deserve.

“On top of these new standards we need a commitment from the Scottish Government that facilities and training will be provided to ensure medical examinations can be offered in Lerwick. That would be a welcome step in the right direction and would encourage more people to come forward.

“I have pressed the Justice Secretary to introduce the practical steps needed to ensure survivors are supported without the need for a traumatic trip to the mainland.”

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