One Step Closer to Much Needed Referral Centre

The island is finally to have a dedicated Sexual Assault Referal Centre, once Finch Hill GP surgery moves into its new home.

Currently victims of sexual assaults have to travel off island for a full forensic report to be completed.

Once Finch Hill moves into the former Chester Street surgery previously occupied by Promenade Medical Centre, work will begin to create the SARC.

Responding to the news on her Facebook page, Douglas South MHK Claire Christian said: ‘This is urgently needed and I am pleased this building has been earmarked finally so that work can start ASAP.’

The need for a SARC was made clear in January’s Tynwald sitting when Tanya August-Hanson MLC told members of the treatment of a young child and their mother after an alleged assault.

Ms August-Hanson said: ‘Following an alleged assault that took place in October last year: reported immediately to the police and social services, it took a week to organise their travelling across to the UK with police and a welfare officer. It is nonsensical that it took a full week before a mother and child were flown for forensic testing during a pandemic.

‘In all of that time, all of that evidence could have been lost, resulting in inconclusive examination results, which is exactly what happened, so these types of things which have not been dealt with thus far, have made a situation that perhaps would’ve been very difficult and hard, 10 times harder for victims and their families.

‘So I am hoping that before the end of this administration, we will see a very clear domestic abuse pathway and hopefully before the end of this administration, we will actually see a SARC so we don’t end up hearing stories like this, which are far worse during the pandemic, because they haven’t been dealt with.’

Gef has contacted Ms August-Hanson and the Isle of Man Constabulary for a response to the news of this much needed facility.