Publication - Consultation analysis

Equally Safe consultation: analysis of responses

Published: 29 Aug 2019
Directorate:
Justice Directorate
Part of:
Health and social care
ISBN:
9781839600647

Analysis of responses to our consultation on legislation to improve forensic medical services for victims of rape and sexual assault.

63 page PDF

806.4 kB

63 page PDF

806.4 kB

Contents
Equally Safe consultation: analysis of responses
Appendix 4: Provisions for Children and Young People

63 page PDF

806.4 kB

Appendix 4: Provisions for Children and Young People

Responses to question seven: special provisions for children and young people

Provisions for children and young people

  • Two respondents highlighted their support for the Scottish Government’s intention to carry out a Child’s Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment. They urged for consultation with children’s organisations, or the creation of an expert group in this process.  One suggested that consultation should include organisations with experience of complex cases of abuse involving children and young people with learning disabilities.
  • Two respondents suggested the use of video links as evidence in order to reduce trauma for victims during court proceedings. 
  • Two called for multiagency approaches to deliver services for children and young people.
  • A suggestion that in addition to the Vulnerable Witnesses (Criminal Evidence) (Scotland) Bill, the Scottish Government should reference the Age of Criminal Responsibility (Scotland) Bill in the development of the legislation.  These Bills have subsequently become Acts of the Scottish Parliament.
  • A call for any clinical pathway to consider the additional impacts of abuse on LGBTI young people and include key actions to reduce barriers to reporting, seeking support and accessing health services after experiencing sexual violence. 
  • One respondent provided a detailed response with a range of recommendations which have been signposted to the SG for consideration.  They questioned why children were not specifically referenced in the title of the consultation paper. The respondent also described six essential features of a child’s pathway following sexual abuse.

Age-appropriate support

  • One highlighted that ‘while there are various ages when a person is defined a ‘child’ in legislation, they would suggest a child or young person is under 16 years of age, which aligns to the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009’.
  • One called for distinct duties for forensic medical services for adult victims of rape and sexual assault; with a separate duty for forensic medical services for children and young people suspected to have suffered abuse including, but not limited to, sexual abuse.

Responses to question eight: potential impact on children and young people

National guidance and policies

  • One respondent praised the Scottish Government for incorporating UNCRC in domestic law in Scotland, stating that this will provide rights to access support, specific consideration of children’s needs and will help the Government and local statutory services to fulfil article 39 of that Convention.
  • One respondent expressed concern that any deviation from national child protection guidance would diminish arrangements which protect children from the risk of sexual abuse and exploitation.
  • Conversely, another suggested that ‘the use of GIRFEC may violate a child victims’ rights’. They did not explain why but referenced a judgement in the case of The Christian Institute and others (Appellants) v The Lord Advocate (Respondent) (Scotland) on 28th July 2016.

Contact

Email: greig.walker@gov.scot