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Not every Ontario hospital has rape evidence kits. A proposed law would change that

Liberal MPP Lucille Collard also calling for mandatory training for staff after survey showed resources lacking for sex assault survivors.


PHOTO: Stock


Every infirmary successful Ontario should person astatine slightest 10 intersexual battle grounds kits and unit trained successful however to woody with survivors, says a Liberal MPP’s private member’s bill based connected a survey that recovered astir 40 per cent of wellness centres don’t person specified kits.

The Access to Sexual Assault Evidence Kits and Provision of Sexual Assault Education Act, introduced by MPP Lucille Collard (Ottawa-Vanier), would besides necessitate intersexual battle examiner grooming for each nursing students successful bid to graduate.

The bill, which passed archetypal speechmaking Tuesday, would necessitate hospitals to person 10 oregon much intersexual battle grounds kits — much colloquially known arsenic “rape kits” — disposable “at each times and to supply them to patients who are successful request of them, escaped of charge.”

Collard is not alert of immoderate cases of enactment battle survivors successful Ontario being asked to pay, but determination person been cases extracurricular the state and she said she wants to debar this happening here.

She said the contented astir infirmary entree to grounds kits “is thing that I find hard to believe, oregon precise discouraging. A broad survey past twelvemonth recovered that 39 per cent of hospitals successful Ontario bash not person intersexual battle grounds kits disposable to victims. These kits supply truly important grounds to trials successful cases of intersexual violence. Unfortunately, it seems that these kits are not ever available.”

In immoderate bluish areas, telephone assistance whitethorn beryllium provided but enactment battle survivors are often directed to attraction centres hours away, said Jacqueline Villeneuve-Ahmed, the laminitis and manager of grassroots radical She Matters, which started collecting information successful 2019 and 2020 astir the deficiency of grounds kits.

“We are a survivor-led enactment … and we said we can’t basal for this to continue,” she said. She Matters surveyed hospitals crossed the state to find retired if kits were disposable connected site, and recovered that not lone did astir hospitals not person them, but that immoderate chose not to cod grounds due to the fact that of the two- to eight-hour clip committedness to bash so.

“They’ll nonstop survivors to larger centres for that reason,” she said.

“We recovered immoderate rather startling things,” she added, “especially successful the much bluish regions — areas where, successful the wintertime months, it’s incredibly challenging to thrust acold distances.”

Villeneuve-Ahmed besides noted however agelong immoderate women hold erstwhile they get astatine a designated centre. “We spot survivors having to hold upwards of 10 oregon much hours, adjacent present successful Sudbury astatine a designated site,” she said.

“We person had survivors interaction our enactment who person been told to travel backmost implicit 24 hours aft reporting themselves to infirmary to get a kit done. And erstwhile you person those barriers successful place, either due to the fact that of unit shortages oregon not capable radical being trained, wherever survivors are told to travel backmost they whitethorn conscionable take not to travel backmost altogether.”

In a statement, the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services says that attraction centres for victims of enactment assaults and home unit are staffed by trained nurses and doctors. “Recognizing that question clip tin beryllium a obstruction successful definite parts of the province, the ministry has provided backing and enactment toward the constitution of a caller (centre) successful Manitoulin District that opened successful January 2021” and is 1 of 10 Aboriginal Health Access Centres funded passim the province.

The connection said “we expect that each hospitals person entree to intersexual battle grounds kits. Some hospitals whitethorn take not to banal kits and alternatively notation survivors to the nearest (treatment centres).”


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