Assisting Victims of Sexual Offences: Ensuring a Professional Service by the Saps–How It Affects Medical Practitioners (Medicine and the Law) (South African Police Service)

Assisting Victims of Sexual Offences: Ensuring a Professional Service by the Saps--How It Affects Medical Practitioners (Medicine and the Law) (South African Police Service)

The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act (1) (SOA Act) requires the National Commissioner of Police to publish a National Instruction (the Instruction) to ensure that the South African Police Service (SAPS) provide a professional service to assist victims of sexual offences. (2) This has been issued (3) and defines medical practitioners and nurses as persons registered respectively in terms of the Health Professions Act (4) and the Nursing Act (5) who are authorised to take blood samples. (6) However, the term ‘health care professional’ is narrowly defined by the Instruction and means the district surgeon or a person appointed by the Department of Health (DoH) to conduct a medical examination on a victim of a sexual offence. (6) The Instruction primarily refers to when the victim has reported the alleged sexual offence to the police, and not to when he or she goes to a designated health establishment without contacting the police. Where the victim reports the crime to a designated health establishment but not to the police, the provisions of the SOA Act (7) apply and the victim must be treated accordingly. (8)

Assisting Victims of Sexual Offences: Ensuring a Professional Service by the Saps--How It Affects Medical Practitioners (Medicine and the Law) (South African Police Service)



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