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

3/27/2015 Security and Women's Rights are Essential to Afghan Recovery - President Ashraf Ghani and a delegation of some 70 plus Afghan leaders came to the US this week to urge Congress and President Obama to extend the deadline for removing support troops from Afghanistan. . . .
 
3/27/2015 Senate 'Vote-A-Rama' Passes Amendments for Equal Pay, Pregnant Workers, Paid Leave, Benefits for Same-Sex Couples - A bipartisan majority of Senators this week voted in favor of budget amendments that show growing momentum for paid sick leave for employees, social security and veterans benefits for same-sex couples, equal pay, and fair treatment for pregnant workers. The votes, though significant, are symbolic. . . .
 
3/25/2015 Afghan Woman Beaten to Death for Burning Koran - A 27-year-old woman ‎who reportedly burned a copy of the Koran inside of a riverside shrine in Kabul, Afghanistan was brutally beaten and burned alive on Thursday. Shocking videos quickly spread on social media showing crowds of men surrounded by hundreds of onlookers assaulting the 27-year-old Farkhunda with bricks and sticks and repeatedly kicking her. . . .