Want to read more?
At the start of the pandemic in March we took the decision to make online access to our news free of charge by taking down our paywall. At a time where accurate information about Covid-19 was vital to our community, this was the right decision – even though it meant a drop in our income. In order to help safeguard the future of our journalism, the time has now come to reinstate our paywall, However, rest assured that access to all Covid related news will still remain free.
To access all other news will require a subscription, as it did pre-pandemic. The good news is that for the whole of December we will be running a special discounted offer to get 3 months access for the price of one month. Thank you for supporting us during this incredibly challenging time.
We value our content and access to our full site is only available with a subscription. Your subscription entitles you to 7-day-a-week access to our website, plus a full digital copy of that week’s paper to read on your pc/mac or mobile device. In addition, your subscription includes access to digital archive copies from 2006 onwards.
Just want to read one issue? No problem you can subscribe for just one week (or longer if you wish).
The constituency MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch has welcomed a landmark law which means that victims of sexual offences can request a forensic medical examination without having to report a crime.
The Forensic Medical Services Bill was passed unanimously by MSPs at the Scottish Parliament this month.
The new legislation places a duty on health boards to give victims direct access to trauma-informed, person-centred forensic medical examination services and to retain certain evidence where a victim is undecided about reporting to the police.
The Bill included a successful amendment from Johann Lamont MSP, which Kate Forbes MSP also voted for, that will allow the survivors of rape and sexual assaults to pick the sex of the person examining them after an attack. Ms Lamont’s amendment passed by 113-9, with one abstention.
Ms Forbes said: ‘This is a very important bill, which I hope will prove to be a source of support for rape survivors.
‘I cannot begin to imagine the trauma and fear of providing forensic evidence after a heinous crime like rape. The changes made by this law have been widely welcomed.
‘One of the most consistent points made by survivors during scrutiny of this bill was the need for women to request a female to carry out any of the necessary procedures. I’m glad that request is now enshrined in law.’