Crime (Victims and Survivors Services)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at on 20 April 2022.

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Photo of Keith Brown Keith Brown Scottish National Party

SARCS is a dedicated service provided by the national health service that can offer healthcare and support in the days after rape or sexual assault if a person is not ready to report that to the police or is unsure whether to do so. That is known as self-referral. Through the chief medical officer’s rape and sexual assault task force, we have invested £11.7 million in the four years up to 2022 to support implementation of the Forensic Medical Services (Victims of Sexual Offences) (Scotland) Act 2021 and to either enhance or create SARCS across Scotland.

We know from listening to survivors that access to self-referral is an important way of giving control back to people. It is also a fundamental aspect of the forensic medical examination facilities that we are looking to roll out. Those services may have a positive influence on a person’s decision to report a crime to police, while ensuring that they are also able to access health services following an incident.