Extend forensic medical examinations for adult victim-survivors of family and sexual violence to a statewide service
Fourth Action Plan actions
- Improve support and service system responses
- 16 Enable workforces to provide trauma-informed support with a focus on safety and recovery to victims and survivors of domestic, family and sexual violence.
- 17 Collaborate across services, sectors and workforces to ensure responses to women affected by domestic, family and sexual violence are coordinated, meet women’s needs, avoid women having to retell their story and promote their recovery.
What are we doing?
Under this action, forensic medical examinations for adult victim-survivors of family and sexual violence will now be available statewide through the expansion at the North West Regional Hospital. The service provides another option for care and advice, as the forensic nurse examiner can assist victim-survivors by providing referrals to other support services. The service also gives police and the justice system the best possible chance of convicting perpetrators, as the forensic nurse examiner can be called as an expert witness or supply a medico-legal report as evidence.
- Extend forensic medical examinations for adult victim-survivors of family and sexual violence to a statewide service is an action under Safe Homes, Families, Communities: Tasmania’s action plan for family and sexual violence 2019-2022 (Safe Homes, Families, Communities), which invests $26 million over three years from 2019-20 to 2021-22 to prevent and respond to family and sexual violence in Tasmania.
What have we achieved so far?
Safe Homes, Families, Communities commenced implementation on 1 July 2019.
In 2019-20, planning to extend the Forensic Medical Examination (FME) service in North West Tasmania commenced, however, implementation was delayed due to the impact of COVID-19.
In December 2020, the FME service commenced at the North West Regional Hospital, meaning there is now a statewide FME service.
What is next?
The Department of Health and FME service is looking at avenues to educate the community and raise the profile of the service in the North West.
What difference will we make?
The Tasmanian Government is committed to building on initiatives being delivered through individual portfolios to deliver a holistic response; supporting families affected by violence; and ensuring the service system is responsive, integrated and innovative.
Extending forensic medical examinations for adult victim-survivors of family and sexual violence to a statewide service addresses a current gap in the family and sexual violence service system in Tasmania. Victim-survivors of family and sexual violence in the North West of Tasmania will now have access to forensic medical examinations at the North West Regional Hospital and will not have to travel to the nearest hospital site (Launceston General Hospital or the Royal Hobart Hospital).