Access to forensic sexual violence services
- South Australia
Fourth Action Plan actions
- Respond to sexual violence and sexual harassment
- 14 Deliver client-centred, trauma-informed, specialised and consistent support to victims and survivors of sexual violence.
What are we doing?
The South Australian Department for Health and Wellbeing is working to ensure expanded access to forensic services across South Australia.
What have we achieved so far?
The provision of forensic services are provided in the context of a health care response. Sexual assault victims are provided health care whilst evidence is collected with their consent for the purpose of a criminal investigation. Forensic services are now available 24 hours in metropolitan Adelaide. The main regional hospitals in Port Lincoln, Whyalla, Berri and Mt Gambier have local nurses or doctors trained and supported by Yarrow Place Rape and Sexual Assault Service (SA Health) to provide sexual assault examinations and collect forensic evidence, If necessary, regional consumers can be provided a forensic service by Yarrow Place in Adelaide.
Yarrow Place visited the Riverland in March 2021, Port Lincoln and Whyalla in April 2021 and Mt Gambier in June 2021 to provide training and support in relation to health care and forensic responses to sexual assault.
Forensic nursing services have been enhanced in Mount Gambier, with the support of a pilot Telehealth Forensic Program. Currently a procedure is in development for this approach, which could be then utilised by other regional hospitals.
Recognise and Respond to Disclosures of Sexual Assault Training for health care workers is being provide in the Riverland in September 2021 and there are plans to provide the training in Port Lincoln in November 2021.
Each country local health network (LHNs) has an identified executive who has responsibility for supporting the enhancement of health care responses to sexual, domestic and family violence.
What is next?
The South Australian Government will continue to explore improved access to forensic services in non-metropolitan regions of South Australia.
What difference will we make?
Appropriate, supportive and timely forensic services are required to expedite criminal proceedings against perpetrators of sexual violence. The South Australian Government is working to ensure forensic processes are available across South Australia.