Nurses to be trained in sexual offence laws and protocols

Recognized weaknesses in the medical response to sexual offences in Grenada have spurred health and social development officials to host two one-day workshops for nurses.

The workshops carded for the 4th and 5th June at the national stadium will be facilitated by attorney-at-law and Director of the Legal Aid and Counseling Clinic Jacqueline Sealey-Burke and is expected to be attended by a total of 50 nurses from the Accident and Emergency Departments of all of the island’s hospitals and community health centers.

A release from the Ministry of Social Development said the goal of the training is to “develop the capacity of the health sector to implement the laws and protocols related to sexual violence in Grenada”.

The Ministry said the need to have such a workshop stemmed from a review done in Grenada under the United Nations Women’s Forum in 2010 that looked at policing and prosecution of sexual offences on the island.

The review found a number of weaknesses in the medical response to sexual offences.

Some of the weaknesses include the poor collection of medico-legal evidence, lack of treatment and documentation of injuries, improper treatment and evaluation of sexually transmitted infections and inadequate pregnancy risks evaluation and prevention.

Statistics from the Royal Grenada Police Force show that an average of 148 sexual offences is reported annually with the most prevalent being rape, defilement of a female and indecent assault.

Additionally approximate ¹⁄³ of all cases in the criminal assizes are sexually offence cases.

The workshop is being funded by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).©

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