Thursday, 6 November 2008

labour's womens' policy

the labour party women's policy is now up on their website (pdf file here). a couple of the issues have already been dealt with by legislation passed earlier in the year ie the flexible working hours, compulsory rest breaks and space for breastfeeding. but all the rest are still live.

also of interest to me was the family violence policy, which comes under justice rather than women's policy. i really like this proposal, which i've also included on my own blog:

Labour will fund an available and appropriate forensic evidential support service for victims of rape (for example the Sexual Assault Referral Centre model in the United Kingdom or Australia).

The aim of this initiative is to ensure that any evidence gathered by the support service can be stored and the evidence and reports from the service be admissible as evidence in any subsequent criminal or civil proceedings.

Not all victims of violence wish to make a complaint to the police immediately. Having Sexual Assault Referral Centres in place would ensure all victims of violence could easily access a service that can document any injuries and gather forensic evidence to support a prosecution in the future should the victim choose to make a complaint. This allows the evidence to be gathered outside of a police investigation but preserves the integrity of the evidence should it be required later.

one of the main issues we currently have is the lack of consistency in the collection of forensic evidence. having the referral centre means that evidence is collected in a sensitive manner, without the victim having to make a formal complaint.

No comments: