The Sexual Assault Referral Centre Project has taken a further step forward with the appointment of an on-island clinician to lead sexual assault referral services.
Victims and survivors will benefit from a clinician-led service in a joint initiative established by Manx Care, the Department of Home Affairs, the Isle of Man Constabulary and Public Health.
The appointment of an experienced full-time forensic medical examiner will mean examinations can take place quickly on-Island, at premises in Douglas.
This marks an important development in the Island’s progress towards a dedicated Sexual Assault Referral Centre and will also improve evidence-gathering capabilities for the police.
The facility’s new medical specialist, who takes up the role next month, brings extensive experience in working at sexual assault referral centres in the UK. Dr Jenny Waters will work alongside the Isle of Man Constabulary to deliver immediate crisis care and the forensic collection of evidence to support a potential criminal prosecution, should a survivor choose to do so.
The development of the service has been progressed over several years, beginning with a needs assessment in 2017 through service design and the first phase of commissioning.
The further development of a dedicated Sexual Assault Referral Centre remains a key objective, offering appropriate spaces to provide immediate assistance to children and adults, support and signposting, along with forensic examinations and rooms for counselling and supported police witness interviews.
This is now likely to be provided through a standalone, modern facility which will adhere to proposed new UK clinical and forensic standards being introduced in 2023.