Published: 20 February 2017
Mr Chen Show Mao: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) whether victims of sex crimes are required to make a police report before they can get a forensic medical examination done and, if so, why; and (b) whether this examination is only available at three hospitals in Singapore and, if so, why is this not more widely available.
1. Sexual crimes are serious and reportable crimes. The Police encourage all victims to come forward to report these offences, so that the perpetrators can be brought to justice.
2. Forensic medical examination is an important part of the criminal investigation into sexual crimes. The Police issue Sexual Assault Examination Kits to Singapore General Hospital (SGH), KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH) and National University Hospital (NUH), because these are the only hospitals with 24/7 Obstetrics and Gynaecology (O&G) Specialist Clinics that can facilitate forensic medical examination at any time of the day.
3. Trained O&G specialists use these kits to gather and preserve physical evidence in cases of serious sexual assault, including semen, blood, body fluids, and hair, in order to assist the criminal investigation and any subsequent prosecution. It is thus important that a Police report is lodged first, to enable the Police to commence investigations swiftly. The forensic medical examination is not a medical treatment process. A Police report is not needed for the victim to seek immediate medical attention.
4. The Minister for Home Affairs recently announced a new initiative to make forensic medical examinations more convenient for rape victims. The Police have partnered SGH's O&G department to operationalise the new One-Stop Abuse Forensic Examination Centre, or OneSAFE Centre, at Police Cantonment Complex. Since 15 January 2017, adult rape victims whose cases are reported within 72 hours of the assault, and who do not require any other medical attention can go through the necessary forensic medical examination at the OneSAFE Centre, without needing to travel to one of the three hospitals.