Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

April-26-13

DOJ Issues Guidelines for Medical Examinations of Sexual Assault Victims

New national guidelines on forensic medical examination in sexual assault cases were released by the Department of Justice this Wednesday. In addition to focusing on the victim's emotional and physical wellbeing during medical examinations, the guidelines also clearly state a recommendation that sexual assault victims are offered emergency contraception. In the case that the medical staff has moral objections, the patient must be informed where they can immediately obtain emergency contraception.

The last guidelines were issued in 2004 and were mostly focused on criminal prosecution. The new guidelines [PDF] prioritize the victim's emotional and physical needs over criminal prosecution. Bea Hanson, the director of the Justice Department's Office on Violence Against Women, cites this shift in priority as a means to help the victim and law enforcement better collaborate. "Research shows that once victims get support, they're more likely to cooperate with the criminal justice system," Hanson said.

A former investigator of sex crimes for the Phoenix Police Department, Sergeant Jim Markey, described the new guidelines as "long overdue." He explained, "What this does is this allows workers in the trenches, those victim advocates, those detectives and nurses, to go to the decision makers and leaders in their communities and say: 'You know what? Here are the standards. We need the resources to provide the minimum standards that are in this protocol.'"

Media Resources: Huffington Post 4/26/13; The New York Times 4/24/13; National Criminal Justice Reference Service


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

7/28/2014 Study: Texas Laws Have Significantly Reduced Access to Abortion - The Texas Policy Evaluation Project (TxPEP) released a study in the medical journal Contraception finding that access to abortion has been significantly reduced since the state enacted it omnibus anti-abortion law HB2. The study, released last week, details the striking impact that HB2 has had on abortion access in Texas. . . .
 
7/28/2014 Wisconsin Will Not Enforce Contraceptive Coverage Law If Employers Raise Religious Objections - Citing the recent United States Supreme Court ruling in Burwell v. . . .
 
7/25/2014 Senate Foreign Relations Committee Passes Disabilities Treaty - By a vote of 12 to 6, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee agreed to recommend ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to the full US Senate. "One hundred forty six nations and the European Union have ratified the Disabilities Treaty, but it will require American leadership to ensure the treaty's protections become a reality," said Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee. . . .