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Protecting Vulnerable Victims of Sexual Crime
To better protect and support victims of sexual crime, new measures will soon be introduced in Parliament. Here are five things you should know about them.

Vulnerable Victims 01
GRAPHIC: Home Team News


They are the ones our hearts go out to – victims (some of whom may be young) who have suffered sexual violence.

While Police investigations into such cases are often successful (all 149 reported rape cases in 2016 and 190 of the 191 reported rape cases in 2017 were solved), it is imperative that victims get necessary support throughout this process.

For this reason, after a comprehensive review of the Criminal Procedure Code, new measures will soon be introduced to offer greater support for victims of sexual crime. These reforms include changes to both investigative processes and court procedures. Here are five things you should know about them.

1. A Victim-Centric Model of Support

Victims of sexual crimes will be interviewed by officers who are specially designated and trained. The training framework will also be enhanced so that all officers learn how to respond to incidents of sexual crime in a victim-centric manner.

2. Understanding what the Vulnerable Need

A new victim empathy training video will help sensitise officers to the experiences of sexual crime victims. Developed in conjunction with the advocacy group AWARE (Association of Women for Action and Research), the video will be incorporated into the training framework for officers by April 2018.

3. A Safe Place Made Better

Launched in January 2017, the One-Stop Abuse Forensic Examination (OneSAFE) Centre at Police Cantonment Complex brings emotional support, medical attention and investigative requirements together at one location, to better serve victims of crime. Here, adult victims of rape whose cases are reported within 72 hours can undergo the necessary forensic and medical examinations. The Centre is being further enhanced and will be staffed almost around-the-clock by doctors from KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital,Singapore General Hospital and National University Hospital by May 2018.


4. Minimising Trauma

For victims of sexual crime, recounting what they have gone through is a painful but necessary part of the investigation. To better support victims during this process, a multi-disciplinary interview model will be introduced from June 2018. Investigative parties will conduct a single interview, reducing the need for victims to recount their experiences repeatedly, and helping to preserve the accuracy of their testimonies. The new interview model will be piloted from June 2018 onwards at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital for child victims who have been sexually abused by family members.

5. Reaching Out to the Vulnerable

To inform and reach out to the public about these new investigative and court processes, as well as the support measures that are available to victims of sexual crime, the Police and the Ministry of Law will produce a sexual crime information pamphlet. This will be available at all Police stations and online from June 2018.

Watch this video to learn more about the proposed changes to the Criminal Procedure Code that will better support vulnerable victims of crime.

© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.

  1. by Mike Tan
  2. 23 February 2018
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