Child sex-assault victim support bill nears royal assent
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 15/04/2021 (780 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Manitoba MLAs from all parties in the house voted in favour Thursday of an NDP bill that aims to help youth in northern and isolated communities who’ve been sexually assaulted.
Bill 213 (Reporting of Supports for Child Survivors of Sexual Assault Act) passed second reading in the legislature. Adoption of a second reading motion means the legislative assembly approves the principle of the bill.
It was introduced by The Pas-Kameesak MLA Amanda Lathlin in November.
The bill would require the province to report annually on the number of health professionals trained and approved to examine child victims of sexual assault. It would also require the province to publicly report on the number of evidence kits available in all health regions.
Health professionals use evidence kits to gather DNA evidence which can later be used by police to charge alleged perpetrators of sexual assault. In northern communities, such as The Pas, only adults have access to sexual assault kits administered by the RCMP. If a minor reports sexual assault, they are flown to Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg, where they are seen by a sexual assault nurse examiner.
“This inequality in access to resources for victims of sexual assault has grave implications on the number of minors who report abuse and the mental and emotional health of young victims,” a Manitoba NDP news release said.
The bill now gets referred to a committee for study before its third reading and receiving royal assent.